Thursday, August 16, 2007

Caterers Law Unto Themselves

Natural Products Magazine

copyright jupiter images Cheese with everything

We spied this rant from the heavily legislated health food industry and it struck a real cord with me. I'm sick to death of food in restaurants baring no resemblance at all to pictures and discriptions on menus. The poor Trading Standards officers just don't have the manpower to police it so the catering trade do (potentially) get away with murder by failing to declare key allergens in food.

I recently ordered a roast vegetable and butternut squash filo tart sprinkled with Rosemary and got served a cheddar cheese and spinach tart sprinkled with walnuts. Why is it that chefs feel the dish isn't complete until they drown it in lashings of saturated animal fat?

Natural Products Magazine reported

Whilst the FSA tightens the regulations on food labelling and Ofcom clamps down on advertisers promoting junk food to kids, one area of the food industry — the restaurant trade — still remains a nutritional law unto itself. That’s the finding of a new report from the Food Commission.

In the latest issue of Food Magazine the campaign group says that consumers often have no real idea about the nutritional content of meals they eat out, as the catering trade is “largely exempt from food labeling requirements”. Other than including information on a few factors, such as irradiation, GMOs and the presence of nuts, restaurants and caterers are free to keep their customers in the dark about sugar, salt, fat levels and calorific values.

Talking to Food Magazine Claire Wilman, senior officer at Surrey Trading Standards, said: “The customers have no idea what they are actually eating apart from descriptions on the menu. What may be perceived as a healthier option, may in fact be seasoned in salt and full of hidden fats”.

1 comment:

Frank Castiglione said...

I think we need more organic restaurants worldwide. I don't how many you have in the UK, but the numbers are growing in the US. In my area we have two organic restaurants...I feel much better eating in these establishments because I know exactly what I'm getting.