Government and industry should make urgent efforts to "fill the knowledge gap" of the extent of any criminal activity within the UK food supply network, a report into the horsemeat crisis has recommended.
Professor Chris Elliott, director of the Institute for Global Food Security at Queen's University Belfast, said the UK has some of the highest standards of food safety in the world, but the scandal "clearly showed criminal activity in the global food chain".
In the first part of his independent review into how the safety and authenticity of food supplies in the UK can be protected, he said: "The horsemeat crisis clearly showed criminal activity in the global food chain and while the next stage of my review will gather more evidence on this, it is right that measures are in place to further protect consumers.
"The food industry and the Government are already striving to achieve this."
And he recommended that: "Data collection and well-structured surveys should be considered as a matter of urgency, by both Government and industry, to fill the knowledge gap of the extent of any criminal activity within the UK food supply network."