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Is better security needed in food factories?

Is CCTV needed in the UK's food factories...

Is better security needed in food factories?

"The rise of crime in food factories across the UK could be damaging to the food we produce"
Peter Houlis

There have been reports that some UK food factories are not complying with the hygiene regulations set out by the Food Standards Agency (FSA), leading to several investigations being carried out. Because of these revelations, large food chains and supermarkets in the UK are currently thinking about who they are working with and are already prepared to draw a line in their contract to ensure they retain the trust of their customers.

However, this isn’t just impacting our supermarkets supply — but also schools, colleges and hospitals where individuals don’t have much choice in what they eat. For food production companies, and food factories in general, this can either make or break a business — just look back to the horse meat scandal that took place in 2013.

IP CCTV Systems suppliers, 2020 Vision, ask the question; what security systems should be installed and is crime on the rise in food factories?

Installing the best security systems for your food factory:

Supermarkets want to associate themselves with a food supplier who isn’t afraid of complying publicly with the correct guidelines — key elements are:

Access control systems — to protect all areas of a business, you should start with access control systems to ensure a barrier between the production and any potential threats from unauthorised characters. If access is gained through a staff card, management within the factory will be able to determine who can and can’t access specific areas on the operation site.

CCTV — if cameras have been put in place around business premises, it will present a message that your factory is not afraid of recording footage and presenting it to the appropriate authorities if certain reports do arise about your production.

Soon, it will be expected that all slaughterhouses in England will need to have CCTV systems installed around their operational grounds. The purpose of this is that the Food Standards Agency (FSA) will gain unprecedented access to footage within a 90-day period after reports of the inhumane treatment of animals.

This does pose a key question though — if this is something being implemented in slaughterhouses, should we be doing the same for food factories? This would mean they would be able to gain access at any point and could reduce the number of investigations.

The reasons behind security system changes:

Customer reassurance — as food factories don’t operate openly and everything is hidden away, this instantly creates suspicion from a consumer’s perspective as they will be the ones buying the final product once distributed to stores around the country. CCTV will counter this issue as it shows that operation centres have nothing to hide — giving them the ability to publish any footage if accused of misconduct.

Maintaining quality — using more advanced CCTV within food factories will enable production companies to watch over the production line and maintain the standards that they sell themselves on. Sometimes, a human error is unavoidable on a production line after several hours of non-stop work — being able to detect it instantly is essential.

An analysis of crime in food factories

It has been proven that CCTV can help deter any criminal activity from occurring. If you’re operating as a food factory in the UK, you’ll know that your industry discovers criminal activity of all kind. 2020 Vision, to back up the reasoning for security systems in food factories, has looked at the crime rates in this sector:

A Crime Overview:

89% of manufacturers around the world were impacted by fraud in 2016. This went up to 96% in 2017 showing that criminal activity is ever increasing in this industry.

Crime Carried Out:

Information theft and compliance breaches accounted for 30%.

Theft of intellectual property stood at 26%.

Crime Committed By Staff:

Junior employees were the most likely staff members to commit a crime — 39%.

Temporary manufacturing workers covered 37%.

Those in senior/middle management positions were at 33%.

The rise of crime in food factories across the UK could be damaging to the food we produce, so it's important to identify how to safeguard the British consumer by upgrading CCTV systems to combat any potential risks.