Co-op forced to change labels

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A SUPERMARKET is changing labels on its food after a jury of ordinary shoppers judged them to be misleading.

The independently monitored initiative will see the Co-op re-label three products after the jury felt shoppers could misunderstand claims for the food. Co-op Spare Ribs were said to be 70 per cent meat but a customer said it was mostly bone. The jury said the label should read instead "Minimum 70 per cent meat (including bone)." The supermarket will also amend portion numbers on Co-op Strawberry Gateau, where 6-8 servings was felt to be unrealistic. Details of the Co-op's Premium Cottage Pie did not make clear that the topping it was cheese powder mixed with breadcrumbs.

The action follows independent research last year which showed nine out of ten of consumers did not know a product described as being made from minced meats included mechanically separated chicken.

Nineteen complaints are detailed in a report of the jury's deliberations including four separate labelling issues on which the Co-op asked the jury for guidance. These will also result in new labelling policies.