Owners of Sheffield takeaway fined over food fraud

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The owners of a Sheffield takeaway have been fined for cutting costs by trying to pass off beef as lamb.

Trading Standards prosecuted the owners of Concord Pizza, on Elm Lane, Shiregreen, under the Food Safety Act 1990, which makes it an offence to sell food which is described falsely.

Concord Pizza, Elm Lane

Concord Pizza, Elm Lane

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One of the partners on the business, Mohammad Rajabi, 49, of Cowper Crescent, Fox Hill, pleaded guilty to the charge during a hearing at Sheffield Magistrates' Court and was fined £1,015.

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A Sheffield Council spokesman said: "The prosecution was brought by Sheffield city council’s trading standards team. Officers visited the premises and made a test purchase in December 2016. They specifically chose a meal which was described on the display menu as being made with lamb. When analysed, the kebab was found to be made of beef which is cheaper than lamb.

"This case is part of the council’s ongoing investigation into this type of food fraud which is a national as well as a local problem.

"The problem was brought to the public’s attention following the horse meat scandal in 2013, when it was discovered that food advertised as beef contained horse meat.

"Previous surveys nationally have shown that adulteration rates can be as high as 50 per cent of takeaway meals analysed."

Ian Ashmore, head of environmental regulation at Sheffield Council, said: "Substitution undermines customer confidence in the takeaway trade and is unfair on customers who are being cheated out of their money by paying for a more expensive meat and being given a cheap alternative.

"This case is part of our continuing work surrounding meat substitution and more checks will be carried out during the coming year."

To report suspicions or make a complaint call 03454 040506.