eBay food: sucks

I wouldn’t have thought of using eBay to buy food, but apparently lots of people do – and according to a press release I’ve just got from Trading Standards, some of the stuff they’re buying isn’t up to scratch.


Tighter controls on selling food on the internet are needed after a survey found that 73 per cent of the goods bought on eBay failed food laws, local authority trading standards officers warned today.

Of the 89 products bought, 65 of them – including coffee, fruit cake, herbs and sweets – would not have been fit for sale in a British supermarket, mainly because of inadequate labelling.

Faulty labelling could be fatal to those with nut allergies, while council trading standards officers were also sent dried meat in substandard packaging, sweets with excessive colouring and a “home-made” fruit cake that arrived mouldy.

Of the 65 failed goods, 12 of the products failed to meet laws on ingredients and two failed to match their advertised description.

51 foodstuffs failed to meet labelling laws: including sweets, meat products such as salami and beef jerky, home-made cake, green tea, herbs and spices. There were also concerns about seaweed and honey, unusual fungi and mushrooms.

There’s more, but you get the gist. I like this wee footnote, though:

Other foods that failed to meet trading laws included: tinned deep fried insects from Thailand with high zinc content; Persian saffron that was not of the quality demanded of its age; and Ethiopian coffee beans with no labelling.

Tinned deep fried insects?

P.S. sorry for any site-feed weirdness: I’m writing a tutorial on integrating various bits and bobs into blogs, and had to test ’em. Hence appearing and disappearing posts with embedded games…





0 responses to “eBay food: sucks”

  1. Oh ye of sheltered lives: deep-fried mopani worms (hairy, black-and-white-striped caterpillars found on the mopani tree) are a major delicacy in South Africa. Many’s the time I would see our maid frying them in butter on her little stove. And dried ones are sold in brown packets on the roadside.

    As insects aren’t kosher, I haven’t tried them. (OK, that’s not the only reason!)

  2. I think the whole “they’re insects! THEY’RE INSECTS!” angle is a pretty good reason not to try them.

  3. Apparently they’re high in protein, and taste like peanut butter. But I suppose cultural conditioning is a difficult thing to overcome. (I would find it hard to eat a haggis, for example, even if it was slaughtered in a kosher way!)

  4. tm

    >they’re insects! THEY’RE INSECTS!

    Europe is the only continent that does not have insects as a part of the staple diet at some time of year or other. And of course we exported our tastes to the US and australia etc. The natives of all those areas do eat them. The incomming ‘european’ populations have to a greater or lesser extent taken a long time to pick up the insect eating habits from the natives. Perhaps it’s because the most appetising insect in europe is the blue bottle.

  5. Yeah, but – THEY’RE INSECTS!

  6. My step-sister got me some chocolate-coated ants for Christmas. Not bad, but a tad crunchy.