Food is being labelled honestly, FSA states

11th August 2014 - Fine Cut

The UK public should once again feel safe in the knowledge that the food they buy is exactly what it says it is on the label, according to the Food Standards Agency (FSA).

Following the horsemeat scandal of 2013, the body has been working hard to crack down on dishonest labelling practices and a new study has suggested the problem has been largely eradicated across the country.

The investigation focused around the origin of the produce that was being sold and whether or not the information supplied on the packaging matched up to where it had come from in reality.

Nearly 100 samples that claimed to be from the UK or the Republic of Ireland - including various meats, tomatoes, honey and apple juice - were tested using a special technique known as stable isotope ratio analysis (SIRA).

Using this method, which was followed up with traceability documentation, the FSA found that 100 per cent of the products included in the study were offering up accurate information - with 78 of the 96 items passing through without needing additional evidence to support the data supplied on their labels.

As well as providing good news over how the market was shaping up in this area, the study was also pleasing to officials because of the level of accuracy SIRA was able to provide.

"We found SIRA effective in raising questions about where a food comes from, but we relied on traceability information to further investigate origin," said FSA chief operating officer Andrew Rhodes said.

"The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the FSA are continuing to work with the research community and industry to improve our ability to test the origin of foods and we look to build on this useful piece of work in the months ahead," he added.

Posted by Simon Tourle

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