What do the following West Sussex restaurant menu descriptions have in common?
“Brixham scampi”; “free range veal”; “breaded scampi”; “Devon clotted cream”; “Sussex beef hung for 28 days”; “Surrey beef”; “monkfish bhuna”
They were all found to be untrue during West Sussex Trading Standards checks on restaurant menu descriptions over the past few months. The Brixham scampi was only purchased from a supplier in Brixham but the scampi themselves came from Ireland.
The Council’s Trading Standards Officers warned this week that while in some of these cases the untrue claims were the result of last minute supply problems, businesses should always check that their menus accurately reflect the food on offer.
Investigations into the exact circumstances of the incorrect descriptions are continuing with available sanctions ranging from a written warning to prosecution.
Lionel Barnard, West Sussex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Residents’ Services, with responsibility for Trading Standards said: “Not only do we want to ensure that those visiting West Sussex restaurants over the summer can be confident of what they are ordering but we need to protect the interests of the vast majority of excellent West Sussex restaurants who play by the rules.”
In all, Trading Standards found issues with the menu descriptions in 14 per cent of premises visited across the county.
If you suspect food may not be as described then you can contact West Sussex Trading Standards through the Citizen’s Advice Consumer Service on 08454 040506, or use an online reporting form.