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‘Local’ food con exposed by council trading standards

What a fantastic headline!

As a sad person working at my desk on a Saturday trying to catch up with a backlog of email from a busy week I notice this headline on my RSS reader.

In our business we tend to be at the coal face when our food manufacturing customers are responding to or dealing with the latest food safety issue being picked up and thrown about by the media, often in the Sunday papers. When the issue relates to something in a food manufacturers supply chain or in product specifications our customers rely on our software to get instant answers, hence I am developing a radar for anticipating the next “issue”

This headline caught my attention.

I promptly pay a visit to the LGA website to get a better understanding of the full report with the explosive headline. There is no report, just a press release.

Having read the press release I am very concerned that it is quite sensationalist and seems to be selective in the statistics that it quotes. Maybe it’s not but I cannot access the full report to see.

Whilst the press release states that 65% of the samples were selected at restaurants, 23% from retailers and 12% from manufacturers and other it then goes on to claim that 18% of the claims were false without providing a breakdown of what percentage of the false claims were from each category.

So wanting to dig more I go looking again for the full report, but am surprised to see that I can only get the report by contacting the LG media relations team, no contact details on the press release, on further investigation I find a contact number for their 24/7 media contact line, when I ring it there is no-one available to take my call, the recorded message then provides a mobile number for an “emergency contact”. I did not deem my enquiry an emergency.

Now in Sherlock Holmes mode I dig a bit deeper and notice that the press release was only issued today, yes Saturday 26th February.

I thought to myself, wow that is fantastic our civil servants are working Saturday to further the safety and legality of the food that we buy.

I know others reading this would be cynical and think that this has been released to catch the Sunday papers cycle and not give respondents in the industry time to disgest and respond to the press release.

But I am not a cynic.

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