More than 9,000 food standards tests failed in Scotland since 2013 figures reveal

The Liberal Democrats have raised concern about food mislabelling. Picture: Anthony Devlin/PA.
The Liberal Democrats have raised concern about food mislabelling. Picture: Anthony Devlin/PA.
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Concern has been raised about food mislabelling after it emerged more than 9,000 food standards tests have been failed in Scotland since 2013.

The Scottish Liberal Democrats asked local authorities how many tests have been carried out over the last five years, and what number were deemed to have failed.

Across the 24 out of 32 councils that provided figures, 9,148 of 90,578 tests were failed - more than 10%. Some 1,741 failed due to mislabelling.

MSP Mike Rumbles highlighted a case in Aberdeenshire where a meal listed as containing local ingredients was revealed to contain chicken from the Netherlands.

Mr Rumbles said: “When people settle down for a meal or pick up some food on the go, they want to know that what they are eating is safe and what it purports to be.

“Government particularly needs to look at companies’ responsibilities in relation to food labelling in light of recent tragic cases.

“Given the seriousness of some people’s allergies, this can’t be taken too seriously and there is a strong case for more robust regulation.”

Dr Jacqui McElhiney, head of food protection science and surveillance at Food Standards Scotland, added: “Sampling programmes carried out by local authority enforcement officers and public analyst laboratories play a key role in protecting public health by verifying the safety and standards of foods placed on the market.

“Where any unsatisfactory results are found, the relevant local authority will take appropriate action to ensure the business is compliant with the relevant legislation and to prevent the sale of products which may be unsafe or labelled in a way which misleads the consumer.

“Consumers rightly expect that the food they buy is what it says it is on the label. Food Standards Scotland works closely with local authorities in relation to all aspects of food standards and safety and will always act in the public’s interests.”

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