Consumers, Fast Food/Quick Service Restaurants, Health/Nutrition/Food Safety, New Zealand, Australia, Processing, fries, chips, Studies/Reports

New Zealanders take a closer look at ‘the good oil on fish and chips’

Seafood Bazaar manager Petrina Taua-Hunt says the Hamilton business prides itself on serving top quality fish and chips.While other countries regulate fryer fat use, experts in New Zealand say degraded oils at its favourite chippies is concerning. The key to producing good fish and chips is to use top-quality oil, filter the frying vats each day, regularly change the oil, and cook oils at the right temperature. But industry experts say not all fast food operators are making the health grade, and neighbourhood chippies are some of the worst offenders. Chemist Dr Laurence Eyres, a specialist in oils and fats, says the prevalence of fast food outlets using old degraded oils is concerning. “How often have you been in a fish and chip shop and it makes your eyes water because they are using the cooking fat well past its shelf life? It’s these oils that can have high levels of nasty compounds and which can be bad for you.” 

In Germany, legislation was introduced governing the quality of oils used in the food industry so frying fat not up to standard has to be discarded, Eyres says, but enforcing a similar regime in New Zealand would be costly. Raising awareness about the importance of using good oils was a better option, he says. Read more

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