The Most Common Fake Foods Found On Restaurant Menus

source: The Balance Small Business /

When dining at a restaurant, you likely expect to be served authentic, high quality food. And while this is often the case, did you know that many restaurants completely lie about the authenticity of their food? For example, Instant Editionreported that Red Lobster’s bisque and Nathan’s Famous’ lobster salad were both missing the main ingredient: lobster. It’s estimated that food fraud reels in $50 billion per year, and these fake foods aren’t just found in grocery stores.

Many restaurants lie about the authenticity and origin of their food in order to cut their own costs while still making a big profit off of dishes on the menu. And according to Eater, there are three main foods to watch out for that are more often fake than they are real. Here’s what you need to know:

1. Kobe Beef

If a restaurant lists something as kobe beef, they’re likely being dishonest. In fact, there are less than 10 restaurants across the United States that are licensed by Kobe’s marketing council to purchase it. If you ask your server where the beef comes from and they are unable to provide you with a clear answer, it’s probably best to order something else.

2. Red Snapper

Here’s a scary statistic for you. In 2013, a study conducted by Oceana found that 38% of all restaurants mislabeled the species of fish being served, including 74% of all sushi restaurants. Scarily enough, red snapper is actually served less than 6% of the time it’s advertised on a menu. And unfortunately, cod, halibut, flounder, and grouper are also commonly faked.

3. Truffles

Truffles are extremely expensive, and real truffles are one of the world’s rarest foods. If truffles aren’t being shaved directly onto your plate while your food is served, they probably aren’t real. And truffle oil? It’s a completely manufactured substance that has nothing to do with real truffles.