Food Standards Scotland has launched a free food crime hotline amid fears of a post-Brexit rise in food fraud, manipulation, substitution and mislabeling.
The group says its crime and incidents unit aims to gather public intelligence on suspicious food products.
The goal is to target those involved in criminal activities, which costs the UK food and drink industry around £1.17bn (€1.36bn) annually.
The hotline is the latest in a series of UK initiatives to boost its food traceability following the UK and Irish horsemeat scandal in 2013.
Chief executive Geoff Ogle said: “Consumers have a right to know that the food they are buying and eating is safe and authentic. Food crime is damaging for the public and the industry, eroding trust and value.”
Meanwhile, three men accused of mixing horsemeat with beef before passing it off as beef are to appear at the City of London Magistrates Court on September 27.
Ulrick Nielsen, Alex Ostler-Beech and Andronicos Sideras are accused of dishonestly arranging “for beef and horsemeat to be combined for sale as beef”, the UK court said.
The men were charged with conspiracy to defraud in 2012, after a police investigation.
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