Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP Mike Rumbles has today revealed that food suppliers across Scotland have failed more than 9,000 food standards tests over the past five years, with hundreds of cases of food being mislabelled.
Figures from 24 of Scotland’s 32 local authorities uncovered through freedom of information legislation reveal that 9,148 food standards tests have been failed since 2013.
Reasons for failed tests include hygiene concerns and mislabelling. For example, Aberdeenshire highlighted the cases of a meal listed as containing local ingredients which was revealed to contain chicken from the Netherlands and a burger piece which contained plastic film.
The figures also showed dramatic disparities in testing figures across Scotland.
Mr Rumbles said:
“These food sampling figures are an insight into the services - big and small - which local authorities provide across Scotland. They are doing excellent work to make sure that the public are kept safe and informed amid a workload that is as large as ever. Yet under Nicola Sturgeon the amount of money given to them by central government has fallen by 8%.
“When people settle down for a meal or pick up some food on the go, they want to know that what they are eating is safe and what it purports to be.
“Government particularly needs to look at companies’ responsibilities in relation to food labelling in light of recent tragic cases. Given the seriousness of some people’s allergies, this can’t be taken too seriously and there is a strong case for more robust regulation.
“This is not the glamorous end of governing but it is essential.”