Food Crime

Scottish Food Crime Hotline
0800 028 7926

The Scottish Food Crime and Incidents Unit (SFCIU) is the investigations and intelligence gathering arm of Food Standards Scotland (FSS). It focuses on tackling food crime and maintaining consumer protection.

The Unit has a dedicated intelligence office which analyses, develops and deals with information received from members of the public, food business operators and industry whistle-blowers.  The investigations team look into instances of food crime, which in some cases will lead to reporting the crimes for prosecution. The team may also support local authorities with serious breaches of food safety.

What is Food Crime

Food crime is a risk to public health and to the global reputation and economy of the Scottish food and drink industry.  Examples of this type of criminality could be any of the following:

  • Fraud - food or drink that has been adulterated or substituted using poorer quality, mislabelled or dangerous ingredients.
  • Illicit goods – selling a product as something it isn’t, such as counterfeit alcohol e.g. fake vodka or wine.
  • Identity theft - fraudulently using the identity of a legitimate food business and the movement of livestock and food using falsified documents.
  • Illegal slaughter – the slaughter of farmed and wild animals in conditions which do not meet animal welfare or hygiene standards.
  • Unfit food - everything from putting animal by-products back into the food chain, to beef and poultry of unknown origin, or selling goods after their ‘use by’ date.

How to report Food Crime

Whether you are a member of the public or working within the food and drink sector you can report food crime in one of the following ways. The Scottish Food Crime Hotline  (0800 028 7926),  in partnership with Crimestoppers, is a free telephone number where you can contact us anonymously if you have any information or suspicions about potential food-related crime.

You can also submit information using an online webform

The hotline and webform are both hosted by Crimestoppers, a widely respected and independent charitable organisation who has for many years been the link between members of the public and industry wishing to anonymously report their concerns to law enforcement agencies.  The information you provide, no matter how insignificant you may believe it to be, could be key to a new or ongoing investigation.   Your information will be analysed, researched and actioned accordingly.

Food crime and consumer safety issues affect you and those closest to you.  Take the time to report it by providing as much detail as you can so we can target those involved.

Local Authorities

If reporting food crime, local authorities should submit information through the electronic intelligence database.  If this is not available, the following documents should be used and emailed to for processing.