The Vulnerability Assessment Helper can help you to understand out how severely a product or product group would be affected by economically motivated adulteration, substitution or dilution of the raw materials or ingredients used to make your product. No matter what answer the Helper calculates, you, with advice from other experts within the business should carefully consider the impact/s, including those listed below, and make your own choice. Add your own choice to the column labelled ‘User rating’. The results table and matrix on the Results (printable) page is calculated using the ‘User rating’; if one has been entered it will override the calculated result.
Food safety risks: Any adulteration, substitution or dilution of an ingredient should be treated as a serious food safety issue as a first priority. There can be direct food safety risks to consumers from contaminated adulterants, allergenic adulterants or unhygienic handling of the ingredient during any adulteration or substitution. There can also be an indirect food safety risk to consumers from adulterants that cause chronic disease, or are carcinogenic or are lacking in nutrients that would be present in an unadulterated product.
Loss of consumer trust: Any problem with your product or product group can be catastrophic for your brand.
Indirect risks: Adulteration, substitution or dilution of an ingredient indicates a flaw in the traceability of your product, which means non-compliance with the requirements of food safety standards and regulations.
There are financial risks associated with any incidence of food fraud. If your company has a Risk Officer or an Enterprise Risk Management Plan the relevant persons should be informed of the results of your vulnerability assessment and consulted about how to prioritise the prevention and mitigation planning that comes after each vulnerability assessment.