Food fraud and the potential impact on our wallet

(NC) With food prices rising due to inflation and supply chain problems, our grocery bills are getting bigger and budgets aren’t stretching as far. That’s why it’s more important than ever to get value for your dollar.

Sometimes people might buy a food product that isn’t quite what they think it is. In some cases, this could be food fraud which occurs when food is misrepresented. There are different types of food fraud:

  • Substitution: When a product is substituted for another, such as pollock for cod fish.
  • Adulteration or dilution: When ingredients or elements are mixed in, such as adding sugar syrup to honey.
  • Mislabelling: When a product is misrepresented on its label, such as labelling an apple or cereal as organic when it’s not.
  • False claims and statements: Similar to mislabelling, false claims or statements also misrepresent a food product. This is usually done with a health claim that is misleading or untrue, such as indicating a product is “fat free” or “low cholesterol” when it isn’t.

When food fraud happens, you’re likely to find yourself spending more than the product is actually worth. In such cases, you’d be buying a lower value product thinking it’s actually of higher value.

Some tips to help ensure your hard-earned dollars aren’t going to waste include checking labels, considering the price, and purchasing from trusted sellers. If a deal seems too good to be true, it likely is.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has strict regulations and labelling requirements to help prevent and deter misrepresented food. You can learn more to help inform yourself about food fraud at

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