Only one ke­bab in 13 was made purely of lamb

In­ves­ti­ga­tion throws up fun­gus too

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS - By Camilla Good­man camilla.good­man@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

KE­BABS and burg­ers con­tain­ing the wrong kind of meat and food con­tam­i­nated with a fun­gal growth were just some of the find­ings of an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into food fraud in Bucks.

In the wake of the horse meat scan­dal in 2013, county coun­cil­lors agreed to spend an ex­tra £50,000 to en­sure food sold to peo­ple in Bucks was cor­rectly la­belled.

A year-long in­ves­ti­ga­tion into food fraud and authenticity by Bucks trad­ing stan­dards of­fi­cers has now been com­pleted and the re­sults have been pub­lished in the trad­ing stan­dards’ an­nual food tests re­view.

They range from a survey of chil­dren’s ready meals, test­ing of take­away ke­babs and burg­ers, to fruit juice sam­pling and tests on olive oil and du­rum wheat, owing to poor har­vests.

A ma­jor in­ves­ti­ga­tion into take­away meat prod­ucts found almost half the sam­ples tested con­tained meat other than that spec­i­fied. Of­fi­cers took 27 sam­ples of lamb ke­babs, burg­ers and chicken from take­away shops in Amer­sham, Che­sham, Ayles­bury and High Wy­combe, and dis­cov­ered that, of the 13 lamb doner ke­babs tested, 10 con­tained chicken, one beef and one chicken and beef. Of the 12 beef­burg­ers sam­pled, two con­tained lamb.

Follow-up work with traders has fo­cused on com­pli­ance with cor­rect la­belling.

Tests on

soft

drinks un­cov­ered in some sam­ples the pres­ence of high lev­els of ben­zoic acid and ‘Southamp­ton Six’ colours, which is linked to chil­dren’s hy­per­ac­tiv­ity.

Trad­ing stan­dards of­fi­cers also in­ves­ti­gated ev­i­dence of afla­toxin con­tam­i­na­tion – a fun­gal growth in im­ported food prod­ucts which can lead to liver dam­age. They found tox­ins in two sam­ples that trig­gered prod­uct re­calls, two sam­ples in which afla­tox­ins were present and five sam­ples with in­cor­rect la­belling.

Buck­ing­hamshire County Coun­cil’s cab­i­net mem­ber for com­mu­nity en­gage­ment, Martin Phillips, said: “I want to en­sure our res­i­dents have ev­ery con­fi­dence that we’re alert and ac­tive about the safety of the food we eat.

“Our trad­ing stan­dards team does an out­stand­ing job en­sur­ing food authenticity with thor­ough in­ves­ti­ga­tion and test­ing.”

Visit www.get­bucks.co. uk for a full round-up of re­sults.

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