Counterfeiting goods are not only limited to luxury items. Some fraudulent suppliers are also supplying counterfeit food to the public. This is, in fact, one of the biggest problems that Australia’s food industry is facing as it could tarnish the country’s reputation as a competitive supplier in the global food market.
On the micro level, counterfeit food diminishes the quality of the dishes and poses health hazards. Restaurant would do well to have one of their number acquire a food handler’s certificate from licensed providers like the Australian Institute of Accreditation to keep their fare safe from these health risks
In case you’re wondering, though, here are some of the most common counterfeit food and how to identify them.
Olive oils are a bit more expensive because they are difficult to make. Beware of the “extra- virgin” label, though, because some dilute their products with vegetable oil or soybean while some fabricate it entirely from cheaper oil. Look for a harvest date and a seal of approval to make sure the product isn’t a mix of other substances. Free samples would also help.
Parmesan cheese with a “100%” label might include fillers like cellulose, or even wood pulp. If you don’t trust your grocery store to supply authentic cheese, you can get your cheese from a speciality shop. Additionally, Parmesan cheese is naturally expensive, so you should be wary of products that are priced low.
Mislabelling cheaper fish to pass off as a more expensive kind is the main form of seafood fraud. Toothfish, for example, becomes the Chilean sea bass while the threadfin slickhead turns into the Alaskan cod in the market under an unscrupulous supplier. It doesn’t just make consumers overpay; it will also lead to people eating something they didn’t want to consume in the first place. Furthermore, be extra wary when buying tuna and snapper since they’re the most counterfeited kinds of fish.
Cheap doesn’t always equal to a bargain. When shopping for food, take the time to read the labels and be more selective about where you buy them and who you buy them from.