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Our Food 2022: An annual review of food standards across the UK

Our Food 2022: Appendix 2 Glossary of Terms

Glossary of terms used in the Annual report on Food Standards report 2022.

Last updated: 8 November 2023
Last updated: 8 November 2023
Term Explanation
Additives Food additives are ingredients that are added to food for particular functions. 
Aflatoxins A toxic compound produced by certain moulds found in food, which can cause liver damage and cancer. 
Allergens There are 14 allergens declarable by law, but consumers may be allergic or have intolerance to other foods or ingredients.
Campylobacter A cause of food poisoning, mainly spread by cross- contamination from raw chicken.
Climate events Long-term shifts in weather patterns and temperatures, some natural and some caused by the burning of fossil fuels since the 19th century. 
Dinitrophenol (DNP)  A highly toxic chemical, which is poisonous to humans and can cause death.
Disruptions A recently implemented measure of food crime interventions which stop or reduce the opportunity for food crime offending and, in doing so, increase UK food security by ensuring food is safe. 
E.coli Escherichia coli is a type of bacteria that can be found in the intestines of animals and humans. Some strains can cause serious illness in humans, such as Vero Cytoxin-producing E. coli (VTEC). 
Fibre A type of carbohydrate that the body cannot break down. Found naturally in plant foods like wholegrains, beans, nuts, fruit and vegetables, it helps keep our digestive system healthy.
Free sugars All sugars naturally present in fruit juices, vegetable juices, purées and pastes and similar products in which the structure has been broken down; all sugars in drinks (except for dairy based drinks); and lactose and galactose added as ingredients.
Free trade agreements Trade agreements set out the rules that cover trade between two or more countries. They aim to make trading easier between those countries. They do this by reducing the restrictions on imports and exports between them.
Genome sequencing A technique used to ‘read’ DNA which, in the context of this report, allows scientists to identify and differentiate between different bacterial and viral strains.
Household food insecurity A term used to describe households that are without reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food.
3-MCPD A food contaminant that is a by-product of certain food manufacturing processes involving vegetable fats (for example, vegetable oil). 
Official controls Generally meaning inspections, enforcement, advice & guidance that are required in law or government guidance.
Online food operators Online food operators Food providers engaged either by computer or smartphone via the internet to deliver food directly to the consumer. 
Pathogen A bacterium, virus or other organism that can cause disease.
Processed meat Any meat which has been modified in order to alter the taste or extend its shelf life. 
Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) An EU system enabling information to be shared efficiently between EU, EEA and EFTA countries.
Risk analysis The process of assessing, managing, and communicating food and animal feed safety risks. 
Salmonella Salmonellas are a group of common bacteria that cause food poisoning. They are usually spread by inadequate cooking and through cross-contamination. Salmonella infection (salmonellosis) is a common bacterial disease that affects the intestinal tract. Salmonella bacteria typically live in animal and human intestines and are shed through faeces. Humans become infected most frequently through contaminated water or food.
Sampling Sampling is the taking of a product to check that it is up to the standard needed. This may include being safe, of the desired standard, or that labelling is correct. It is undertaken to support enforcement, as part of business checks, and for research and surveillance purposes.
Saturated fat A type of fat associated with an increased risk of high blood cholesterol, which can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. 
Sustainable Reducing our carbon-footprint, promoting sustainable best practice, conserving natural resources and building environmental awareness through our policies and practice.