In our latest round of food testing, as part of our Stop Food Fraud campaign, we’ve found some fishy goings on in fish ‘n’ chip shops. Is the fish you’re ordering the fish you’re getting?
As a nation, we all love to sit down with some fish and chips on a Friday night. But what if you’re not getting the cod or haddock you ordered?
We tested 45 samples of fish labelled as being cod or haddock bought from random fish and chip shops in Birmingham, Glasgow and Manchester.
Around one in six of those were mislabelled, with some samples being substituted for cheaper fish.
Fishy findings in chip shop tests
Two of the 15 samples of cod tested in Manchester were haddock. But, worse than that, in Glasgow five of the 15 samples of haddock were found to be whiting. Whiting is similar to haddock, but it’s usually much cheaper. It might still be tasty once battered, but if you’re paying for the more expensive haddock, that’s what you should be getting.
The results come just five months after we found that 40% of the lamb takeaways we tested had been contaminated with other meats, with some being sans-lamb altogether.
We want the Government to quickly implement all of the recommendations from the Elliott Review, including setting up a new Food Crime Unit to ensure there are effective controls in place and there’s a zero tolerance approach to food crime.
Get what you pay for
We shared our findings with Professor Chris Elliott, who published his review into the horsemeat scandal last week. He told us:
‘It has been known for quite some time fish fraud is very common and species substitution is always high on the list of causes. It is clear the catering industry in the UK has a long way to go to ensure that consumers get what they are paying for.
‘They must work to ensure that such fraud is prevented by tightening their audits and testing regime, two of the key pillars of food integrity I referred to in my report to government.’
Following the publication of the Elliott Review, we wanted to find out how confident people are that their takeaways are correctly described. Half of the takeaway buyers we asked said they weren’t confident that the food they buy contains the ingredients stated.
Are you confident that the fish you’ve ordered from your local chip shop is the fish it claims to be?