Cafes 'over-egging' menu claims

Image caption,
Those who mislead customers about their food could be prosecuted

Eateries across Lancashire have been "over-egging" descriptions of food on their menus, according to trading standards officers.

Passing off dry packet soup mixed with hot water as homemade soup was just one of the false claims uncovered in their trawl of 816 menu items.

Officers found 32 of the 41 randomly selected premises made misleading claims about the food they served.

Trading standards warned certain businesses could be prosecuted.

Other false descriptions included "free range eggs" that were from battery farmed hens, "fresh tuna steak" that had come from the freezer, "slow-cooked beef pie" that had been defrosted and reheated and "Ribble Valley beef" that had come from a suppliers on Merseyside.

Other descriptions such as "organic", "hand picked" and "fresh" were also applied to some foods without justification.

Trading standards officers have advised food outlets to either correct any misleading claims or ensure they buy food from the appropriate supplier to avoid prosecution.

Lancashire County Council's chief trading standards officer Jim Potts said: "Lancashire citizens have the right to expect that the meals they buy are genuinely described on the menus and price lists.

"The popularity of TV food programmes and celebrity chefs may be leading to 'over-egging' of menu descriptions but all items must be truthfully described.

"There is nothing wrong with the food itself, and many customers would consider the meals on offer to be tasty. But when you order something it must be exactly as described."

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