Takeaway fined for selling beef as lamb

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A restaurant-owner has been fined £400 after his takeaway sold a beef curry that was described on the menu as lamb.

Illyas Mohammad, who owns the Shama Restaurant and Takeaway in Leeds Road, Heckmondwike, was also landed with £1607.74 court costs and an £80 victim surcharge at Kirklees Magistrates Court after a customer flagged-up the menu to West Yorkshire Trading Standards.

On December 18, 2013, a Trading Standards officer ordered a lamb rogan josh from the restaurant and a public analyst found it consisted entirely of beef.

When Mohammad was questioned by officers he told them the restaurant, which had been trading for two years, did not sell lamb as a main dish, only chicken and beef.

He said the menus, which listed lamb, were designed to “follow suit” with other businesses and denied it was his intention to mislead anyone.

Coun Andrew Pinnock (Lib Dem, Cleckheaton), of West Yorkshire Trading Standards Committee, said: “An aggravating factor in this case was that Mr. Mohammad and his manager got together and deliberately wrote their menus to include lamb in the main dishes, when they had no intention of actually putting lamb in them.”

West Yorkshire Trading Standards head David Lodge said: “Falsely describing the content of meals is an offence under the Food Safety Act 1990 – selling food ‘not of the nature demanded by the purchaser’. The continued efforts of officers from Trading Standards to crack down on this kind of food fraud is paying dividends.”

Anyone who suspects the food they are being sold is not what it is supposed to be can call the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 040506.