Food Crime Q&A

Industry experts Ron McNaughton and Professor Chris Elliot answer your questions about food crime.

On Monday 7 October experts Ron McNaughton, Head of the Scottish Food Crime and Incidents Unit (SFCIU), at Food Standards Scotland, and Chris Elliot, Professor of Food Security at Queen's University Belfast and Director of the Institute for Global Food Safety, took part in a joint question and answer interview tackling a variety of food crime issues.

The interview covered topical questions about food crime including:

  • why businesses need to know about food fraud,
  • the progress and growth of the SFCIU, and
  • measures being taken to safeguard the Scottish food and drink industry.

The Q&A was aimed at those working in the food and drink industry, and Ron and Chris answered questions submitted by stakeholders during the interview.

The video will be uploaded to YouTube in November.

Ron McNaughton - Head of the Scottish Food Crime and Incidents Unit

Ron was initially a consultant for Food Standards Scotland and became the Head of the Scottish Food Crime and Incidents Unit in 2016 after being asked to build a food crime capability by the Chief Executive.

A former Senior Police Officer in Scotland, he retired from the Police in 2015, after 30 years’ service. During this period he served in a number of operational policing roles.

For the last five years of his police service, he was specifically involved in leading the investigation into serious and organised crime as Force Authorising Officer and Head of Intelligence for Tayside Police.  In that role he was responsible for all force covert activity. Latterly Ron worked within the Police Service of Scotland's intelligence function and performed the role of Intelligence Commander for the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles.     

Professor Chris Elliot - Director of the Institute for Global Food Safety at Queen's University Belfast

Chris is currently Professor of Food Safety and founder of the Institute for Global Food Security at Queen’s University Belfast. He served as Pro Vice Chancellor responsible for the Medical and Life Sciences Faculty between 2015 and 2018.  He has published more than 400 peer review articles, many of them relating to the detection and control of agriculture, food and environmental related contaminants. His main research interests are in the development of innovative techniques to provide early warning of toxin threats across complex food supply systems. Protecting the integrity of the food supply chain from fraud is also a key research topic and Chris led the independent review of Britain’s food system following the 2013 horsemeat scandal.

He currently co-ordinates a flagship Horizon2020 project involving 16 European and 17 Chinese partners on food safety and also  co-ordinates an European Institute of Innovation and Technology flagship research project.

Over the years Chris has developed a high level network of collaborators across Europe, the United States, the Middle East and Asia. He is a visiting Professor at the China Agriculture University in Beijing and the Chinese Academy of Sciences, a recipient of a Winston Churchill Fellowship and is an elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and Royal Society of Biology. Chris has received numerous prizes and awards for his work.

In 2017 he was awarded the Royal Society of Chemistry Theophilus Redwood Prize and was also awarded an OBE by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

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