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Food fraud

Do you know of any food fraud being committed by businesses or operatives in Hackney? Don’t ignore it, report it. Food frauds don’t just rip you off financially, they can also harm your health and create an unfair business advantage.

What is food fraud?

Food fraud occurs when illegal, low quality and misdescribed food is deceptively sold to customers as legal, premium or accurately described food.

A few examples

Unfit and potentially harmful foods, such as:

  • illegally slaughtered unfit meat
  • recycled animal by-products
  • illegally imported or smuggled food
  • recycled and relabelled foods which are past their ‘use by’ date

Intentional misdescription of food, such as:

  • frozen fish being sold as ‘fresh’
  • mutton as goat
  • cat fish as cod
  • farmed salmon as ‘wild’
  • non-organic as ‘organic’
  • ordinary chicken as ‘corn-fed’, free-range or organic

Misdescription about the country of origin

Further information on food fraud can be found from the Food Standards Agency.

Report food fraud

If you are currently working or have been working for a business which may be involved in food fraud activities, or if you, as a customer, have been offered or sold foods which make you suspicious, then please contact us on: 020 8356 4911 or email

Alternatively, contact the Food Standards Agency by email at  or call the food fraud hotline on 020 7276 8527, where you can leave an anonymous message.

Your complaint/information will be investigated in the strictest confidence and if required, appropriate enforcement action will be taken.

Page updated on: 25 June 2019

Environmental Health


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