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One in five restaurants misled customers over 'local' produce – For more hospitality stories, see what the weekend papers say

28 February 2011 by
One in five restaurants misled customers over 'local' produce – For more hospitality stories, see what the weekend papers say

One in five restaurants misled customers over ‘local' produce One in five restaurants falsely claimed food was local when it came from elsewhere, according to research by the Local Government Regulation body, which found that up to one-third of ‘local' labels across different sectors were fraudulent. ‘Devon' ham from Denmark, ‘Somerset' Brie from France, and a cream substitute flagged as ‘local' cream, were among the findings of the LGR investigation into 558 products at 300 restaurants, shops and production centres in England and Wales. At least 18% of ‘local' food came from elsewhere while another 14% was unverifiable. Restaurants had the highest level of false claims (at 19%) and manufacturers, at 11%, the lowest. False descriptions were found in 50% of poultry products, 29% of sausages, 27% of both lamb and beef, and 24% of dairy products. 26 February
Read the full articles inthe Guardian,the Independent,the Daily Express, and theDaily Mail>>

Jamie Oliver brands Sarah Palin a ‘Froot Loop' Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has branded Sarah Palin a ‘Froot Loop' for opposing the US government's plans to boost subsidies and nutritional standards for free and reduced-cost school meals. Palin and other conservatives dismissed the move as government meddling and said that parents should decide what their children eat. Oliver, who has been seeking to improve the diet of US schoolchildren in West Virginia and Los Angeles, argued that providing kids with healthy foods was a civil rights issue and quoted health officials who felt some parents were close to child abuse by not feeding them properly. Oliver claimed the USA was in a "really dark moment" in terms of children's health but was optimistic that the public would respond to his campaign. "Americans, when you get them on something, will shift faster than anyone else," he said. "I think America's going to react very strongly to what I've filmed in the last two months." 27 February
Read the full article in theIndependent on Sunday >>

Breast milk ice-cream debuts in London salon Ice-cream made from human breast milk has proved a hit with customers since it debuted on the menu of a Covent Garden ice-cream salon this week. The £14 ice-cream dish, called Baby Gaga, is flavoured with Madagascan vanilla pods and lemon zest, and served with liquid nitrogen in a martini glass at the Icecreamists. Volunteer suppliers, who are first health screened, are paid £15 for every 10oz of milk they supply. "The response has been amazing. People at first say it's disgusting because it's a bodily fluid, but so is cow's milk," said owner Matt O'Connor. "People love it when they try it." New York chef Daniel Angerer of Klee Brasserie has also used his wife's milk to make cheese for his restaurant. 26 February
Read the full article inthe Independentand theGuardian >>

Subway becomes biggest global fast-food franchise Sandwich chain Subway now has more worldwide franchise outlets than its nearest rival, fast-food giant McDonald's. The supplier of submarine sandwiches - which was founded in 1986 in Canada, now has 34,000 stores in 96 countries against McDonald's 32,000 venues in 117 countries. Subway's success has been attributed partly to its "healthy fast-food" advertising campaign which followed the progress of college student Jared Fogle as he lost 245lbs (from a starting 425lbs) on the Subway diet. The other leading global fast-food players are: KFC (20,200 outlets in 109 countries); Starbucks (17,009 in 50 countries); Pizza Hut (13,100 in 97 countries); and Burger King (12,100 outlets). 26 February
Read the full article in theIndependent >>

McDonald's franchisee plans Indian expansion Hardcastle Restaurants, the fast-food giant's Indian franchisee of burger chain McDonald's, intends to open 30 new restaurants in the country this year, bumping up the total to 250. 26 February
Read the full article inThe Times >>

Chimpanzee meat found in Midlands restaurants
Trading standards officials have found chimpanzee meat on sale in British restaurants and market stalls following raids in the Midlands. The meat, which can cost more than £20 a kilogram, is part of an illegal trade in wild-caught bushmeat from abroad. "Dubious meat is often tested, and has turned out to be things like rats and vermin in the past - but chimpanzee is unbelievable," commented a Government whistleblower. Research conducted last year found more than 270 tonnes of illegal bushmeat was passing through Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris alone, and it is estimated that at least five tonnes arrives in Europe each week. Dr Marcus Rowcliffe, research fellow at the Zoological Society of London, warned the meat could carry diseases such as foot-and-mouth, anthrax, Ebola, TB and cholera. The Jane Goodall Institute UK blamed the bushmeat trade for reducing wild chimp populations from one million to a few hundred thousand in the past 50 years. 27 February
Read the full article in theMail on Sunday >>

Cornish baker to defy EU pasty regulations A traditional Cornish baker says she is willing to risk jail in defiance of new EU specifications that accompany the award of Protected Geographical Indication status to Cornish pasties, which she fears will ruin her business. Ann Muller, who produces 400 Cornish pasties a day, is aghast that the new specification - devised by the Cornish Pasty Association during its nine-year campaign for EU recognition - allows the use of mince and demands that the D-shaped pasty only be crimped down the side. Muller, who crimps the tops of her pasties, refuses to change her tradition. "We have built our reputation making pasties for 25 years and now, according to the EU, they are not Cornish. The Cornish Pasty Association has got it wrong and it's really embarrassing. We've got to make a big stink and fuss about all this. If I am fined for an over-the-top crimp I won't pay. I will go to prison." Meanwhile, visitors to the Facebook page of Greggs the baker have suggested ‘Cornish Pastiche' to rename pasties made outside Cornwall. 27 February
Read the full article in theIndependent >>

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall campaign prompts EU to ban fish discards European fisheries commissioner Maria Damanaki is to unveil a proposal on Tuesday to ban ‘discards', a wasteful consequence of Europe's quota system that sees fishermen throwing away more than 1.3 million tonnes of fish a year (or 13% of the total catch) in the North Atlantic. The proposal - which is backed by Britain, Denmark, Germany, and Belgium but opposed by Spain and other Southern European nations - is in response to a petition signed by more than 650,000 people following a TV series on over-fishing headed by TV chef Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall. Fishermen currently throw away fish that are too young or for which they have no quota so they can carry on fishing for less endangered species. It is estimated that North Sea discards range from 500,000 to 889,000 tonnes, while discards in western Ireland and Scotland range from 31% to 91% of all catches. 27 February
Read the full article in theSunday Times >>

Robo-chefs cooking up a storm in Asia Wishdoing, a fast-food restaurant in Shanghai, has hired two robotic chefs to cook and wash up, underlining a growing trend in Asia for automated workers who do not tire or make mistakes and reduce the chance of food contamination. The Shanghai robots - which reportedly cost $30,350 each - have self-contained stoves, pots and utensils and can cook dishes like Kung Pao Chicken or Mapo Tofu in three minutes, serve eight people, and clean the pots before preparing a new meal. Staff simply choose the dish, ingredients and quantities. The Dalu Robot restaurant in Shandong, China, and the Hajime restaurant in Bangkok both use robot waiters while FuA-Men in Nagoya, Japan, has an assembly line chef serving up to 80 bowls of ramen a day. 26 February
Read the full article in theIndependent >>

By Angela Frewin

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