View Full Version : Newspaper exposes UK scampi con

Davie Tait
8th July 2013, 19:20

MANY scampi products sold in UK supermarkets are not always what they are cracked up to be, a major exposure by a national newspaper claims.

The Daily Mail says it can reveal that more than one in five products with the word 'scampi' on the label contain pangasius, otherwise known as River Cobbler or Vietnamese catfish, along with other cheaper fish. It also says those products which are 100 per cent scampi are often bulked out with water.

Scampi and chips is one of the country's most popular meals with Britons spending more than 50-million a year on the dish. Scampi was "invented" by Young's in the late 1940s and is described as the tail of a langoustine, sometimes known as Dublin Bay Prawns and a cousin of the lobster. They are found off the west coast of Scotland, in the Irish Sea and parts of the North Sea.

But the Daily Mail says that what people are getting these days can be different from the original Young's de-luxe concept - and the it is most common when it comes to buying what are labelled "scampi bites" which are not covered by the seafood industry code of practice. The paper's DNA tests on products from various producers companies showed they were mixed with cheaper fish such as Vietnamese catfish, hake and Alaskan Pollock. The amount of langoustine found in these so called bites can be as little as seven per cent.

The Mail's timely expose is certain to fuel the fish mislabelling scandal which has been a major issue across the United States during the past year involving other types of fish products. But there is evidence that it is also widespread in the UK and has only been kept off the front pages by the horsemeat scandal. Two years ago a university probe found that many UK supermarket seafood dishes contained (usually cheaper) fish that was not listed on the label.

Investigative journalist Joanna Blythman told the paper that scampi can be one of the worst examples how the food industry cons the public, adding that it was rotten value for money in any case.