With the discovery of horsemeat in supermarket beef burgers hitting the headlines, the problem of misdescribing food has come under the microscope.
Over the past few months, West Sussex Trading Standards Service has been examining descriptions applied to kebabs at sellers across the county.
In an exploratory exercise carried out by officers, eight out of 10 descriptions were found to be wrong.
It was discovered that while many ‘lamb’ kebabs were mostly made from lamb, they also contained significant amounts of poultry, beef and even veal.
If you buy a ‘lamb’ kebab or a ‘doner kebab’, advice from Trading Standards is that the only meat in it should be lamb unless the menu description tells you otherwise.
Most of the identified problems were due to local sellers not understanding the rules rather than deliberating setting out to deceive the public and for this reason the sellers were given a warning and a chance to put matters right before being re-visited. All corrected the descriptions applied.
A large proportion of sellers in West Sussex have now been visited, and Trading Standards officers have worked with them to ensure that they understand the requirements and sell products which are correctly described.
County Council cabinet member for public protection, Christine Field, said: “We want to remind traders that misdescribing food is a serious matter.
“What goes on sale for the public to eat has to be what has been described.
“Anyone who has any concerns should get in touch with our Trading Standards officers through Citizens Advice on 08454 040506 or the West Sussex County Council website.”