Tesco, Sainsbury's and Morrisons have joined forces to tackle the rise of potato scammers. Lawrence Martin, spokesman for the retail giants, explained that consumers had reported worrying signs of potato fraud throughout the country: "Last week, we started to get customer complaints that their potatoes tasted strange. On investigation, we discovered these so called potatoes were in fact a variety of other vegetables, including shaped turnips coated in earth, boiled onions in brown bags and out of date mushrooms squashed together. The worst cases have been in Scotland where potatoes are not recgonised in their original form at all. We were concerned when potato fraudsters convinced shoppers in Dumbarton that out of date Yorkshire puddings were a new potato variety. There were no customer complaints but our quality assurance systems uncovered that scam."
Experts are baffled at the recent spate of potato fraud. Hugh Jones from the Potato Council confirmed the last major potato outbreak of potato fraud was in Ireland in 1845. "At that time many people died because of the lack of real potatoes, one of the earliest recorded incidences of fussy eating."