A fish called Panga

fishchipsFish and chips!  One of the nation’s favourites, but some of us might be getting more than we bargained for when we order cod and chips!

The national press has recently revealed that some chip shop owners have been making a few extra quid by substituting traditional cod for a breed of catfish farmed in Vietnam. The name of the fish is Pangasius hypophthalmus, commonly known as Panga.

To look at the fish when battered and dripping in salt and vinegar, they look exactly the same, only when raw can the difference be spotted. Panga has a pinkish tinge to its white flesh, where cod is totally white. When cooked, neither has a strong taste and are difficult to distinguish. This is how the fraud is possible.

At wholesale markets Panga sells for half the price of cod but you and I as customers are being charged as though it was the same thing, leading to a tidy profit for the unscrupulous chip shop owner. There is no reason why Panga cannot be sold but it is imperative that it is described accurately and that customers get what they ask for at the counter.

Selling food which is not of the ‘nature, substance or quality demanded by the purchaser’ is a criminal offence and Trading Standards Officers work to eliminate these occurrences.

So what do you think?…

Would you be angry to find you’d been sold panga instead of cod?
When you order fish and chips do you expect the fish to be cod?
Have you ever tasted Panga?  Tell us your views…

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