Ah good old fish and chips..
A sunny Sunday afternoon at the coast, walking along the pier with battered fresh fish and crispy chips in-hand, wrapped up in carton or newspaper. This was once a common scene on these shores, well, before the shortage of cod in our seas and the dramatic increase in prices of what was once seen as a very cheap way to eat out.
Well the nation's favourite takeaway dinner (let's forget Chicken Tikka Masala for a second) has taken another "battering" in recent weeks.
Because a new investigation has found that people who regularly eat fish the chips could be facing serious health risks!
A joint study carried out by Richmond Council in partnership with five other councils in south west London revealed that some of the fish and chip suppers tested contained over twice the recommended daily allowance of saturated fats.
The amount of unsaturated fat found in the worst sample was the equivalent of around four tablespoons of frying oil. Others had over 100 per cent of the daily recommended allowance on fats, while almost all had high salt contents. That's more unhealthy than a Subway sandwich!
Environmental health officers bought 24 portions of fish and chips from takeaways across south west London and then analysed the proportion of fat, trans-fat, saturated fat and salt in each meal. The results showed a wide variation, with some portions proving healthier than others.
Cllr Martin Elengorn, Cabinet member for the Environment on Richmond Council said:
"Our study shows there are concerns over the way some local takeaways are cooking and preparing meals.
"We are not warning people off eating fish and chips, but we are advising them that eating it regularly could mean they risk having an excessive amount of fats and salts in their diets, which can increase the risk of heart disease.
"Our environmental health officers are now working with fish and chip shop owners to ensure that their meals are healthier to eat."
Shop owners are being advised to pay particular attention to the temperature and freshness of their oil, the length of cooking times and the importance of allowing the food to drain before being wrapped.
The six boroughs conducting the study were Richmond upon Thames, Wandsworth, Merton, Kingston, Hammersmith and Fulham, and Sutton.
Any fish and chip shop owner who wants advice on how to serve up healthier meals can telephone 020 8891 7994 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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