14/10/2013 Inside Out Yorkshire and Lincolnshire


Should the public should be confident about the food it consume? The online retailers selling food that is past its sell by date. And a trip to the liquorice capital of England.

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Hello, and welcome to Inside Out. today: Two Hello,


Hello, and welcome to Inside Out. Tonight we are in the Peak District.


This time we have got a special programme looking at the third week


yet. First, I've got a question for you. Should we eat more out of date


food? We look at the campaign to use our preferred past its best before


date to help reduce waste. I wouldn't notice the difference?


Also tonight, a restaurant critic investigates food fraud. What if


this beef is actually some old horse and these eggs are actually made in


a cage? And black and gold. We visited the town which has been


making liquorice for hundreds of years.


You can buy it online but some charities won't give it away. And an


awful lot of it ends up rotting in landfill sites. I'm talking about


out of date food. And there's a campaign to get us to eat more of


it. It's easy to tell when food's gone


off in your fridge. You smell it before you see it. But when it's in


a tin or a packet, it's harder to know if it's still edible. 20% of


all the food we buy in this country ends up at a place like this. A


landfill site. Every year, households discard more than seven


million tonnes of food and drink each


And, if you factor in all food waste including producers, supermarkets


and the catering industry, that figure more than doubles to a


staggering 15 million tonnes. That's 18 Wembley stadiums full of rotting


food. Tonight, I visit the Yorkshire business supplying out of date food


to shoppers all over the country. And the schoolchildren using it to


make a gourmet lunch. And will I survive eating


seven`year`old soup? Some foods have use by dates and


others have best before. This seems to cause quite a bit of confusion,


and it can lead to food that's safe to eat being chucked out. So what's


the difference? The use by date tells you about the safety of the


food. Use that food by that date to ensure it's going to be safe. The


best before date is different. I tells you about the quality of the


food. Even the Trussell Trust which runs most of the nation's food banks


seems to misunderstand the difference. It says it doesn't give


away best before expired foods because it's illegal. There is no


reason people shouldn't eat food past its best before date if they


wanted. Is not likely to become unsafe. But it may affect the


texture or flavour. These crisps are a month out of date


and these are fresh off the supermarket shelf. But can the


shoppers of Rotherham tell the difference? They are the freshest.


You are wrong. Out of date. You're right. You two are eating crisps. We


have some free crisps. They are in date. That one is out of date.


You're wrong. I'm not buying them. Well, I've tasted them and I can't


honestly tell the difference. And here at Approved Foods just outside


Sheffield, they've built a multi`million pound business out of


the fact that most people can't. You might not think the owner of


this mansion would be a typical customer. But Sam Lyons, a busy


working mum, shops online for cheap food near to or past its best before


date. If you look at a product and smell it and it seems all right, you


would use it and it would silly to throw it away.


Sam's order's now arrived at Approved Foods, and Diane, her


packer, is busy assembling it in the warehouse. But I want to know how


you make money from out of date products. It is not a supermarket


but you must have as many lines. We have 1601 North lines. We ship


thousands every day. Food, drink, non`food, washing`up liquid. 95% of


it is short dated stock but the trick is to not buy in someone


else's problems. Managing director Dan Cluderay lost his job as a


software designer in 2001. Me and my wife set up on a market selling


short dated food and rank. Then I started to think more about online.


If you had a shop, it was hard to sell these products. The firm now


turns over ?5 million a year and need to expand to a warehouse five


times the size of this one to cope with predicted demand. It was the


waste that allowed me to grow. The stalker was out there and available


to buy. It was the merging of computer skills and the need for it.


I started out right at the start of the credit crunch when people were


talking about saving money. And supermarkets would have been heavily


taxed for dumping this stock. It would have gone to landfill. We are


a viable alternative because we are selling it before it goes out of


date. You have a warehouse full of branded products which the brand


owners need you to get rid of. We are an extra route to market for


these problem products. So this morning we saw Sam putting


her order in on her computer. Here we are in your warehouse. It's


there. Ten miles away, volunteers at a social enterprise company are


preparing more food for distribution. This time, though,


it's free. Food Aware distributes five tonnes of produce in the


Rotherham area every week. It's one of the poorest areas in the country


and can ill afford to waste edible food. Today we are going to a number


of different projects. Local schools, children's centres. The


British Red Cross. The food comes from a number of suppliers. We work


with international produce, local farms, Sainsbury's, Tesco. They


bring food to others and we take it to people who need it.


The next day, pupils at Clifton Comprehensive School are busy


preparing lunch with the produce that Food Aware's delivered. It's


past its best before date or failed supermarket quality controls. It's


all edible though. This is passed which is best before


December. It is nearly one year before its best before date. We will


see how this tastes shortly. On the menu today, these 12 and


13`year`olds are cooking roasted vegetable soup, vegetable chilli,


pasta bake and fruit crumble. Just think ` all this could have been


thrown away or used as animal feed. While that's being prepared, I'm


going to taste food that's considerably older. We are going to


have a go at seven`year`old soup. Who's going first? You are.


Very tasty. Very nice. Just what you need on an autumnal morning. What do


you make of that? I can't taste the difference. Yeah, without a shadow


of a doubt. See what you think. It tastes the same. Some of the


vegetables are bit soft, that's all. So, we must not throw things away.


So the past its best before date is fine.


Somewhat more appetising is the soup the kids have made and it seems to


be going down pretty well. It would have ended up as compost, at best.


Next up, the main course. Who wants Putin? In which food did you throw


away last week? `` how much food? Coming up, sweet treats. The town


that has been making licorice from many centuries.


Some things are not in dispute. This is a nice juicy apple. Earlier this


year when horse meat was found in a supermarket `` supermarkets, it


rocked our confidence. We have asked Jay Rayner to look at who is


policing our food. Spaghetti Bolognese is one of the


nation's favoured dishes. Unsurprisingly so. What could be


better than some lovely beef simmered in olive oil served over


pasta made with free range eggs? What if the beef is some old pony


that should be racing in Kempton? One of the free range eggs are


captured in a cage? And what of the olive oil is less innocent than


claims. All of these items have been the subject of controversy in recent


years. How confident can we be in our food? How can we be certain


there is not going to be another horse meat scandal? Can we be sure


our food is going to do what it says on the tin? What we are seeing his


failings `` failings in the system. A report just published as


underlined the problems. There is confusion over the role of the Food


Standards Agency, which is in charge. It says detection of fraud


is falling short of what consumers should expect. It is our local


trading standards who are of the food police doing the checks.


I'm going to take these three and do some checks on these. To understand


the challenges trading standards face I'm spending the day with an


enforcement officer. We are visiting a yoghurt factory in Suffolk. Is the


packaging only four grams on these? They have the wrong sheet. That is a


250 millilitre one. The consumer needs to know what they are getting.


What trading standards are looking at here is a discrepancy over


weight. It looks like it is just an oversight but they have to get it


right so the consumer knows what they're getting. The team have had


to prosecutions recently. Companies were ripping off consumers by


selling jam that didn't contain what it said on the label. Reports of


fraud are rising. The first six months of this year, 812 incidents


of fraud have been reported to the Food Standards Agency. Trading


standards also report an increase and yet their budgets nationally are


down by a third and the number of samples able to be sent for testing


is done by a quarter. There is a crisis. We have lost one third of


our inspectorate. It is expected to be slashed by a further 50% in some


cases. In some places in the UK, there will be no speeding standards


service. With limited resources, trading standards have to try to


predict problems. Here, they take a sample of milk for testing. One


sample will be sent for testing and one will be retained by the


business. Our weather has meant milk yields are down this year. They are


testing to make sure milk is not being watered down. Officers on the


ground are very busy. So is the Food Standards Agency. The FSA has been


repeatedly criticised as being not fit for purpose. It was accused of


acting too slowly during the horse meat scandal. Is the current system


tough enough? Let's put these things in perspective. In the prior year


there were more than 90,000 samples collected. 20,000 authenticity


tests. 8000 on meat products. We have been testing for several years.


I don't think the incident was a wake`up call as such. A former head


of authenticity at the food standards agency said we are now


less well`equipped to tackle fraud. He believes Budget cuts are


undermining the system. The FSA rely basically on local authority


results. Local authorities are under financial pressure, and therefore


the amount of sampling that they are doing has been quite severely


reduced. I think the whole system is really quite severely weakened. It


is clearly challenging in the current financial market for local


authorities to do the work they need to do. But the FSA has invested


considerably more in this area to boost their resources and efforts,


and it is clear the system is detecting problems, but it is going


to be challenging in the future. The service will continue to evolve as


things change. Two weeks after a visit to the dairy and the samples


have been tested. Everything was OK. The samples had not been watered


down. I did discover another problem in the system. The number of public


testing laboratories has shrunk dramatically over the past decade,


from 20 down to nine. Testing of our food is taking place. But food fraud


has never been more attractive to criminals. And FSA report lists all


the products it things could be has been the subject of fraud. It is


quite a list. Honey, wine, fruit juice, spices, olive oil... Should


all testing be paid for by the public purse? What about the


supermarkets? We buy most of our food from them. Tesco one love ``


Tesco's were one of those caught up in the horse meat scandal. You have


thousands of products in Tesco. How do you decide what to test? We take


a balanced view of where the biggest risk may be that something could go


wrong. It could be telling consumers there is chicken in a product, and


we need to be sure it is chicken and not 30. We do those tests


frequently. Since horse meat was found in some of their products,


Tesco saying they now carry out eight times more DNA testing. Do you


think something like the worse big scandal could happen again? Our sole


objective is giving the customers the best products we can. We have


two insure that kind of activity, if it were there, we would catch it.


And because our supply chains are shorter, we understand them better,


have better controls, and the testing is stronger, that fraud


should not happen again. While Tesco are confident they have learned


lessons, the rest of the food surveillance system is under


pressure. The big question is, can it cope? In my view, the horse meat


scandal could happen again. There is always somebody prepared to cut


corners. When we are faced with an Inspectorate that is creaking and


has gaps and has fragmented, that is a perfect opportunity for somebody


to exploit those conditions. Whilst the majority of our food is safe,


food fraud is an established crime and it is all about money. Where


there is money to be made, criminals will be attracted. Food is a global


industry now. It is convex and hard to police. Taking sure it is what it


says it is, is very tough indeed. `` making sure.


They are trying to build a reputation here as a haven for food


lovers. But the town of Pontefract has been renowned among people with


a sweet tooth since the Middle Ages. We look at the town that is a big


name in the town of `` world of sweets.


I am in Pontefract, one of the oldest market towns in Yorkshire. It


is also the liquid capital of Britain. A hundred years ago, there


were 16 liquorice factories in the town. Now there are just two. But


it's an industry that still survives today. And this is what it is all


about. The Pontefract cake. It is a mixture of treacle, sugar and


liquid. How do you make it? Let's find out. I'm meeting a man whose


family worked in the liquorice industry for more than a century.


Let's go and see these plans. These are some of the last liquorice in


Pontefract? That's right. They have been here about 15 years. They are


much taller. When they died back in the winter, they will go down to


nothing. In April or May they will start to grow. They are at their


prime now. Which part is the liquorice? Those roots grow as thick


as my leg. They are full of black Jews. It goes solid like a block of


coal. That is the pure licorice. `` liquorice In Pontefract, growing


liquorice was big business, but the last commercial crop was harvested


in 1966. Now it's imported from the Middle East. Once upon a time all of


these fields were liquorice? Yes. When I was five years old, they were


nothing but plans. It was the business in Pontefract? Ella


McCreight was, until the 1970s. `` it was. The liquorice fields of


Pontefract were a local landmark. I have wonderful memories. We used to


play hide and Seek. My mother could never find me! I would be in the


field somewhere playing cowboys with my mates. It was an era when men


went down the pit, and women worked in the liquorice factories. If you


worked there, you were called a Spanish pumper. I wore not a pumper.


They did licorice allsorts in big sheets. We used to have two strip


the sheet off and take them into the cutting rooms. One of the factory


girls moved from Germany to post`war Pontefract. Eventually, she settled


in, but it took time. I was never quite accepted. For one, I was


German. And for the other, my husband was not a minor. I liked the


coconut mushrooms. I used to sneak into the room where they were made


and sneak a few. My sisters used to, every Tuesday with her two boys. I


used to put my slaps on every Tuesday. I could just get half a


dozen in my pocket. I never got caught! Now chocolate dominates the


sweet market. But liquorice gave jobs to hundreds of local women,


mass`producing a recipe with origins in the middle ages.


I'm going to a cookery demonstration ` and I've got a confession to make.


Now Tom, I am going to let you into a little secret. I am not that keen


on liquorice, so you will have to convince me. By the time I have


finished with you, you will love the stuff. We compress the roots and get


all the juice out. That is a block of pure liquorice. It goes solid and


it comes out like a rock of coal. 50 times sweeter than sugar. The


sweetest thing on God's. Why can't you read that? It is too strong. We


put flour into the pounds. Start steering them. Then you added


demerara sugar. Kept the steering pounds going round and round. This


was getting thicker and thicker. And then you added treacle. Now we have


a big sticky mess. And then, to give it the flavour, we used to add a


little bit of liquorice. Mix it all up and we had some of this. What is


this? That is ragas. It spells sugar backwards. It stops the sweets going


back to sugar. The final shot was a little drop of aniseed. You could


smell it all over the town. The aroma was wonderful. We kept it


steering for around three and a half hours. We emptied into big pans for


it to be cooled overnight. Then it came out like that. Just like your


mother used to break bread. `` baked bread. The girls will roll it out


like that. They would nip it onto trays. Hated with a stamp. And they


made the Pontefract cake. That is the finished product. It's a classic


scene in silent cinema. Charlie Chaplin is so hungry he eats an old


boot. But it wasn't leather ` it was liquorice. And, apparently, the boot


was from Pontefract ` or at least that's what Tom says! I got a phone


call from a gentleman and he said my grandfather has got a phone call


from Hollywood. They asked him if he could make a boot out of liquorice.


Tom's got a replica of Charlie's boot but, unfortunately, liquorice


doesn't last ever. You've not been tempted to have a nibble yourself?


Smell it. Would you? ! It smells like old boots! Pontefract's got a


proud history of liquorice going back 500 years. And some campaigners


want to make sure it isn't forgotten. Nor the town has a


history like Pontefract. But we have no record of the history and the


culture of liquorice in Pontefract. We want to create a liquorice


museum. It has to be the biggest day of the year for Yorkshire's


liquorice lovers. There's no museum yet, but this is the one day a year


when Pontefract really celebrates its heritage. How important is the


festival for Pontefract? I would say it is very, very important. It


attracts thousands of people from all over the country. Pontefract's


fields of liquorice have gone. But it's still the home town of an


industry that's become a world`wide business. This is not Pontefract


liquorice. I think this is Scandinavian. And these are part of


a big order in China. It is more than a million quid's was. Forget


about chocolate, for some sweet`lovers, liquorice is still


best. And I think I'm getting a taste for it. Kids absolutely love


this. They cannot get enough of it. Soft will stop It is a bit more is.


Very moreish. I've seen lots of liquorice food here. This has got to


be the strangest. A burrito. It's good, actually. Liquorice will


always be at the heart of Pontefract. For Tom, it's a love


that will never go away. When I die, they are going to put a bag of


Pontefract cakes in Mike Coughlan. And I want a bunch of liquorice on


my Coffin. That is all from here in the Peak District. Join us next


week. We will be finding out about the threat to cattle from bovine TB


and asking whether we are going full circle back to coal. And we try to


find out if Winston Churchill was behind the sacking of JB Priestley




Toby Foster presents the stories that matter in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. This week, food writer Jay Rayner investigates whether the food we buy is really what it says on the tin, Toby meets the online retailers selling food past its best before date and getting praise from the EU for doing it, and Keeley Donovan travels to the liquorice capital of England.

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