Derby City Council Trading Standards have been working with the Food Standards Agency (FSA) on sampling projects this year to help tackle problems with food that could be damaging to consumers.

One of the first projects completed was sampling for ‘Plastic Rice’. In Derby, samples which were taken by the Trading Standards team were tested and showed that none contained plastic rice.

The ‘Rice’ is produced using a mix of potatoes, sweet potatoes, and plastic. It is formed by mixing the potatoes and sweet potatoes into the shape of rice grains, before adding industrial synthetic resins.

The ‘rice’ does not behave like normal rice, it remains very hard even after it has been cooked properly, so it could be a choking hazard for consumers, especially young children. Tests on fake rice have also confirmed that the synthetic resins and plastics used in making the product are harmful.

The Food Standards Agency have stated:

“Plastic rice was a potential emerging risk that was on the radar early last year, and we therefore included it as one of the priorities for 16/17 sampling.  However, we are not aware of any instances of plastic rice incidences on the UK market.”

Fakir Mohamed Osman, Principal Trading Standards Officer said:

“We work closely with the Food Standards Agency on a number of projects to ensure that consumers in Derby are protected from potentially dangerous food products. We’re pleased to report that no fake rice has been found in Derby as part of our sampling project.

To report any problems with food items you have purchased, please contact Trading Standards via the Citizens Advice Consumer  Service Helpline on 03454 04 05 06 or visit the Citizens Advice website.”

If you want to find out more about other priorities set by the FSA including issues such as Meat Substitution, Allergens and Food Supplements, you can read them on the Food Standards Agency website.

Published: Wednesday 4th January 2017

UPDATED: Tuesday 10th January 2017