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Food Fraud - What Are We Really Eating?: Tonight

Food Fraud - What Are We Really Eating? Watch the Tonight programme at 7.30pm on ITV Photo: ITV / Tonight

An investigation undertaken by ITV’s Tonight series to test whether takeaway outlets were misleading the public has recorded a 100% failure rate.

The programme bought four takeaway meals in Blackpool – and had them tested by Public Analyst Dr Duncan Campbell.

None were acceptable, according to West Yorkshire’s top Public Analyst.

Takeaway meals under the microscope Credit: ITV / Tonight

Blackpool was dubbed “England’s Takeaway Capital” after it was said to have more takeaways per head of population than anywhere else in the country.

A researcher bought two curries, a kebab and a pizza. The curries and the kebab were all meant to be lamb – none were.

And the pizza cheese topping turned out to be 30% fake cheese despite a menu description of “100% mozzarella”.

Not 100% mozzerella Credit: ITV / Tonight

The test was commissioned for Tonight’s programme Food Fraud – What Are We Really Eating?, which you can watch at 7.30pm on ITV.

We tested two curries, a lamb madras and a lamb korma. We looked at the DNA in the meat in both of those samples and found it to be entirely beef, so there was no lamb at all present. “

– Dr Duncan Campbell

Next our researcher asked for a lamb kebab and was sold a doner kebab. Dr Campbell said: “If one is simply described as a doner, then I would expect it to be lamb.” But again it was beef.

“It is surprising, albeit in a small sample of three, to find all three of them beef rather than lamb.”

– Dr Duncan Campbell
A curry and kebab sold as lamb, but not lamb Credit: ITV / Tonight

And the pizza topping was made from a blend of cheese and fake cheese. “I would expect it to be 100% cheese,” he said.

Food fraud is estimated to cost the UK billions every year.

If you look in the average shopping basket, everything within the shopping basket has the vulnerability to be subject to fraud.”

– Andy Morling, National Food Crime Unit

The National Food Crime Unit today launched a new phone and online service for whistleblowers to report food fraud – Call 0207 276 8787 or click here.