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Food Crime: A Review of the UK Institutional Perception of Illicit Practices in the Food Sector


Aug 04, 2020

Food offers highly profitable opportunities to criminal actors. Recent cases, from wine and meat adulteration to milk powder contaminations, have brought renewed attention to forms of harmful activities which have long occurred in the food sector. Despite several scandals over the last few decades, food has so far received scant criminological attention and the concept of food crime remains subject to dierent definitions. This article assesses regulations in the United Kingdom (UK) and UK authorities ocial reports published between 2013 and 2018 through a review of academic literature published in English. It charts the evolution of the food crime concept, its various meanings, and dierent harmful activities associated with food crime, which originate from unlawful acts and omissions. This article also points out that further criminological research needs to address the definitional issue of food crime and inform a more integrated policy approach by considering activities beyond food fraud and the protection of food safety.

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