14/10/2013 Inside Out Yorkshire and Lincolnshire


14/10/2013

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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Transcript


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

:00:21.:00:24.

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

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

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 Should we eat more out of date

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

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

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

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

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

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making liquorice for hundreds of years.

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

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

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out of date food.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

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

:01:40.:01:49.

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

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

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

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landfill site. Every year, households discard more than seven

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million tonnes of food and drink each

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

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

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

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

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

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make a gourmet lunch. And will I survive eating

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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talking about saving money. And supermarkets would have been heavily

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

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

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

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

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these problem products. So this morning we saw Sam putting

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

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

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preparing more food for distribution. This time, though,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The next day, pupils at Clifton Comprehensive School are busy

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

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

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all edible though. This is passed which is best before

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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So the past its best before date is fine.

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

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

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

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

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that has been making licorice from many centuries.

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

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

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

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policing our food. Spaghetti Bolognese is one of the

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

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better than some lovely beef simmered in olive oil served over

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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What trading standards are looking at here is a discrepancy over

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

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

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to prosecutions recently. Companies were ripping off consumers by

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

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

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

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standards also report an increase and yet their budgets nationally are

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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of authenticity at the food standards agency said we are now

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

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undermining the system. The FSA rely basically on local authority

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results. Local authorities are under financial pressure, and therefore

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

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

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is clearly challenging in the current financial market for local

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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testing laboratories has shrunk dramatically over the past decade,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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lessons, the rest of the food surveillance system is under

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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name in the town of `` world of sweets.

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

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

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

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

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

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

:20:32.:20:34.

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

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

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

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

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

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

:21:11.:21:19.

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

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

:21:32.:21:33.

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

:21:34.:21:39.

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

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

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

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

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

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

:22:13.:22:16.

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

:22:17.:22:21.

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

:22:22.:22:28.

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

:22:29.:22:37.

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

:22:38.:22:43.

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

:22:44.:22:48.

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

:22:49.:22:54.

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

:22:55.:23:00.

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

:23:01.:23:09.

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

:23:10.:23:14.

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

:23:15.:23:21.

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

:23:22.:23:25.

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

:23:26.:23:29.

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

:23:30.:23:32.

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

:23:33.:23:39.

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

:23:40.:23:48.

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

:23:49.:23:54.

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

:23:55.:23:58.

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

:23:59.:24:06.

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

:24:07.:24:15.

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

:24:16.:24:21.

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

:24:22.:24:29.

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

:24:30.:24:36.

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

:24:37.:24:39.

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

:24:40.:24:46.

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

:24:47.:24:54.

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

:24:55.:25:03.

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

:25:04.:25:08.

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

:25:09.:25:13.

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

:25:14.:25:18.

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

:25:19.:25:23.

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

:25:24.:25:28.

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

:25:29.:25:33.

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

:25:34.:25:40.

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

:25:41.:25:45.

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

:25:46.:25:49.

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

:25:50.:25:53.

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

:25:54.:26:03.

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

:26:04.:26:06.

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

:26:07.:26:12.

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

:26:13.:26:15.

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

:26:16.:26:22.

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

:26:23.:26:25.

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

:26:26.:26:28.

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

:26:29.:26:37.

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

:26:38.:26:43.

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

:26:44.:26:53.

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

:26:54.:26:59.

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

:27:00.:27:02.

when Pontefract really celebrates its heritage. How important is the

:27:03.:27:10.

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

:27:11.:27:14.

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

:27:15.:27:17.

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

:27:18.:27:20.

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

:27:21.:27:30.

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

:27:31.:27:44.

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

:27:45.:27:48.

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

:27:49.:27:50.

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

:27:51.:27:59.

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

:28:00.:28:10.

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

:28:11.:28:15.

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

:28:16.:28:19.

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

:28:20.:28:28.

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

:28:29.:28:32.

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

:28:33.:28:39.

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

:28:40.:28:44.

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

:28:45.:28:53.

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

:28:54.:28:58.

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

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from

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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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