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Results of council survey on doner kebabs

27 January 2009

The LACORS coordinated food standards sampling programme was developed in recognition of the strong links between local, regional and national food sampling priorities. The surveys undertaken reflect local interests, generate community engagement and meet the priorities of individual councils. In addition to the local perspective, there are clear advantages to be gained by comparing results of the chosen surveys at a regional and national level.

LACORS do not undertake any direct sampling work, as this is carried out by councils. Participation by individual councils is optional and funded from their own sampling budgets. The success of this work is therefore dependent on the contribution made by councils, for which LACORS is extremely grateful.

LACORS has released a report from the recent coordinated food standards survey looking at the content of doner kebabs. The survey analysed the meat content, product labelling and nutritional values of doner kebabs.

76 individual councils collected 494 samples of doner kebabs to provide a very robust evidence base for this report. Councils from 11 out of 12 regional areas in the UK are represented. The contribution by so many councils to this survey highlights their commitment to ensuring that consumers have the necessary information to make an informed choice about the food that they eat.

The survey contains interesting information for both the consumer and catering business about the meat content of the doner kebabs that they buy. The fact that only 34 per cent of kebabs collected contained only sheep meat may be of interest to some consumers. Consumers and catering businesses may be concerned at the inaccuracies the survey identified about product labelling. LACORS is running a workshop on 10th February to provide further guidance for kebab manufacturers on this area.

The report highlights that the average doner kebab contains over 1000 calories, which is over half the Guideline Daily Amount (GDA) for women and 40 per cent for men. Some of the doner kebab samples collected as part of this show far more concerning nutritional values, with the worst containing 80 per cent of the calorie GDA for a man, 136 per cent of their GDA for fat and 235 per cent of their GDA for saturated fats. The worst kebab contained 277 per cent of the recommended daily slat intake for adults.

The results from this survey have gained national and regional press coverage.

The press release can be accessed here.

The full report is available here.