Adulteration of foods is nothing new in this industry. Although the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, passed back in 1938, set guidelines on the definition of adulterated foods, it primarily addressed adulteration from a standpoint of food safety. And while intentional and dangerous adulteration is relatively rare these days, it still occurs—mainly in imported products created by unscrupulous manufacturers. Unintentional adulteration also occurs due to environmental factors, packaging issues and other factors. And while it rarely causes serious food-safety issues, food fraud—often motivated by greed—also remains rampant. The U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention now maintains a database dedicated to monitoring food fraud (see the “
USP Food Fraud Database
”). The following slides profile some of the most common foods subject to intentional and unintentional adulteration and contamination.