Shock findings on top takeaways
A study into two of the nation's favourite takeaways has revealed high levels of fat, salt, sugar and colourings along with bogus meat, council chiefs have said.
The analysis of Indian takeaways found that an average portion of chicken tikka masala and pilau rice contained 116% of a person's Guideline Daily Amount (GDA) of saturated fat and 92% of salt.
A similar investigation into Chinese takeaways discovered average sweet and sour chicken with fried rice with 119% GDA of salt.
The Local Government Group study, which analysed food from 223 takeaways across England and Wales, also found illegally high levels of certain colourings which the Food Standards Agency has called for a voluntary ban on because of their negative effects on children.
A spokesman said: "Were these pre-packaged meals they would have to carry a health warning advising consumers that they contained these colourings."
In some of the tikka masala test buys, it was stressed that the customer had a nut allergy. Despite this, one in five of these takeaways contained peanuts or almonds. Just a small amount of nuts can be fatal for someone with a severe allergy.
On two occasions the meat found in sweet and sour chicken meals was in fact turkey.
Cllr Paul Bettison, chairman of the LG Regulation Board, said: "The family takeaway is like a tradition in homes across the country, be it celebrating the end of a working week or settling down for Saturday night television. Everyone knows they often aren't especially healthy and should be enjoyed in moderation, but that just one meal can contain so much fat, salt and sugar is truly shocking and unnecessary.
"There's no excuse for illegal amounts of colouring and as for a secretly using a cheaper type of meat, that's just shamefully ripping off customers. And including nuts when you've been told a person suffers from a nut allergy is unforgivable, it could potentially kill them.
"There are many ways to make takeaways more healthy such as using lower fat oils, natural colourings and reducing salt. These needn't compromise taste and promoting such a healthy approach often attracts customers who're keen to watch their waistline or their blood pressure. Councils are on the side of consumers who want to be sure that their takeaways are at the very least safe to eat and a true reflection of what's on the menu."