Supermarket fish under BBC cosh –

Supermarket fish under BBC cosh Published:  25 March, 2014

THE Grimsby Fish Merchants Association has revealed it refused an invitation to take part in TV debate about the poor quality of supermarket fish.

The issue was first raised in the national BBC programme Rip Off Britain, presented by Gloria Hunniford, Julia Somerville and Angela Rippon, and followed up by the regional news programme Look North.

FMA chief executive Steve Norton said in his organisation’s news letter: ‘We declined on the basis that the BBC should be talking to the supermarkets about their buying policy and supply chain integrity.’

It also points out that supermarkets do not buy most of their fish from coastal markets like Grimsby but obtain it from direct sources instead.

In the Rip Off Britain programme Gloria Hunniford visited Brixham market and spoke to an independent fishmonger who said his fish was in his shop between 24 and 48 hours after purchase.

The programme then took his fish and samples of cod, haddock and fish pie mix from four supermarkets: Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Asda and Morrisons to a lab for testing, based on the accepted ‘Torry’ ratings for fish.

The results showed that the high street fishmonger’s samples were fresh and of excellent quality.

But most of the supermarket fish scored poorly with the laboratory tester saying that five of the 12 samples from these retailers were what he described as ‘being off’ or ‘slightly off’. 

All the supermarkets said they were surprised at the results. Asda pointed out it had won awards for its fish while Sainsbury’s and Tesco said they would be speaking to their suppliers.

Morrisons opened a chilled factory in Grimsby two years ago to supply its own stores, said a number of factors can lead to different Torry scores.

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