Morrisons Peterhead fish mislabelling recurs

Whiting allegedly labelled as haddock in Peterhead store

Morrisons told Ant & Dec it knew the difference between a mackerel and a mullet in a recent TV ad, but was left red-faced this week when it emerged that one of its stores couldn’t tell whiting from haddock or haddock from cod.

The retailer has apologised to customers after mislabelling fish at its store in Peterhead - the site of Europe’s biggest white fish market.

Campaign group The Real Fish Fight was given photographic evidence - apparently showing whiting labelled and offered for sale as haddock, and haddock as skinless cod loin at Morrisons’ Peterhead store in February.

Morrisons provided extra training for staff after it was contacted by local MP Eilidh Whiteford. However, RFF has since been given evidence of further mislabelling at Morrisons Peterhead - showing cod labelled as haddock - in June.

Morrisons said it took the mislabelling at Peterhead “extremely seriously” and was disappointed to learn it was still occurring. “We would like to apologise to our customers and assure them that an investigation will be carried out,” a spokesman said.

The news has angered fishermen who point out that if they landed one species and logged it as another, they would face a fine.

As a result of the latest incident, Whiteford wrote to Aberdeenshire County Council and the FSA in Scotland last month. “Peterhead is one of the few towns anywhere where people know the difference between a haddock and a whiting,” she told The Grocer.

Morrisons, which owns its own fish processing site in Grimsby, prides itself on its fishmongers’ expertise - celebrated in an Ant & Dec ad earlier this year, in which Dec asks a fishmonger: “So you can tell a mackerel from a mullet?” to which the fishmonger replies: “Yes, of course I can.”