Fish is the new horse
Thank goodness the horsemeat scandal is over and we can rest assured that all our food is exactly what it says it is. Or not. If you are one of the increasing numbers of fish-munchers, new research shows that there could be something fishy in your fingers.
New research from the University of Salford shows that up to 7% of fish sold in the UK is mislabelled. Often this is to substitute cheaper fish for the traditional cod or haddock, but there is also a rise in ‘new’ fish species turning up in food- that is, fish that aren’t normally used for human food are being put in human food. Nice.
But the UK is actually top of the class on fish mis-labelling. Figures from similar studies around the world show that approximately 25% of fish in the Republic of Ireland and the US is mislabelled and that 25%-33% of fish sold in Europe could be absolutely anything other than what it’s supposed to be.
Dr Stefano Mariani, a biologist at the University of Salford and author of the UK study said: "Consumers should be able to go to a shop and know they are eating what they paid for."
His report showed that cod was most commonly being substituted with cheaper fish like pollock and Vietnamese pangasius. However, he also found that, much like the horsemeat issue, mislabelling of fish seemed to be concentrated in a few fishy suppliers.
"We noted that there were some suppliers that were consistently handling fish that was proven to be mislabelled, which suggests that a lot of mislabelling occurs before the fish gets delivered to the supermarket," he told the BBC.
The industry is now calling for tighter regulation and more transparency in the food chain. Déjà vu anyone?