Residents across South Tyneside Council are being warned of the dangers of buying fish from doorstep traders.
The Council’s Environmental Health officers are warning consumers following reports of traders selling door to door, asking residents, including older people, if they would like to buy fish.
Lead Member for Public Health, Councillor Moira Smith, said: “When buying fish from door to door salesmen, the purchaser very often has no way of knowing how the fish have been stored and whether they are safe to eat.
“These type of sellers commonly use non-refrigerated vans, and there may be issues with the labelling, quality and descriptions of the fish.”
It can also be difficult to know whether door to door traders are registered as a food business operator, which is a legal requirement, or if they are adhering to all food safety and hygiene regulations.
Councillor Smith added: “We are also concerned that the traders may pressurise residents to buy more than they actually need. As with any doorstep caller we would urge people not to be tempted to buy and ask them to leave. The best place to buy fish is from a reputable fishmonger at an established shop or stall or even with a trader with a regular pre-arranged round.”
Anyone wanting advice on doorstep trading, or to report an incident, can call 0191 427 7000 or can contact the Citizens’ Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06, which gives free, independent and impartial advice on all consumer issues, or the police on 101. Anyone feeling intimidated or threatened by any doorstep seller should shut the door and call the police emergency number 999.