Phoney food descriptions will not be tolerated by officers

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CATERERS are being warned a zero-tolerance approach is being taken by trading standards officers when it comes to false menu descriptions.

Pubs, restaurant owners and food van operators can expect tough action if their food menus are found to be misleading.

The public are being encouraged to report their suspicions to trading standards.

The team at West Sussex County Council has previously issued warnings about false menus but problems keep being found.

Recent examples include a lamb kebab containing chicken, Devon clotted cream from Dorset, ‘organic Fair Trade tea’ which was not organic or Fair Trade, and ‘locally sourced and award-winning burgers’ which were neither.

Investigations are continuing into these premises but now the tougher action will involve businesses that have previously been warned being inspected again.

If the same false descriptions are found again, court action could be the next step.

The warning comes as the government publishes the Elliott Review into the integrity and assurance of food supply networks following the horse meat scandal.

The report makes several recommendations, including a zero-tolerance approach to all types of food crime.

Councillor Lionel Barnard, in charge of Trading Standards, said: ‘We would urge all caterers to make sure what is on their menu matches what is supplied.’