Mislabelling and species substitution in fishery products retailed in Sardinia (Italy), 2009-2014

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Domenico Meloni *
Pierluigi Piras
Rina Mazzette
(*) Corresponding Author:
Domenico Meloni | dmeloni@uniss.it

Abstract

Mislabelling and species substitution are major concerns for fishery products marketed in the EU. The present survey aimed to investigate the correct enforcement of the Community and National rules on the labelling and marketing of fishery products retailed in Sardinia (Italy) between 2009 and 2014. A total of 3000 labels for fresh unpacked fishery products have been considered. A total of 900 labels (30%) presented non-compliance concerning the wrong trade name, the wrong or missing information about the catch area and the production method. The highest percentage of mislabelling and species substitution has been detected in open-air markets (65%) and small-scale retail shops (40%) compared with the big supermarket chains (10%). The high percentage of non-compliances with the European and Italian legislation highlights the need to improve the essential information demanded by consumers on fishery products marketed in open-air markets and small-scale retail shops. While there are laws in place, it is unclear how effective they are and what type of penalties food business operators of open-air markets and small-scale retail shops may incur.

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