South Yorkshire restaurant fined thousands over ‘lamb tikka’ that contained no lamb

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A South Yorkshire restaurant will have to pay almost £4,000 in fines and costs after serving a ‘lamb curry’ - that contained absolutely no lamb.

Jaffran Restaurant on Park Street, Wombwell, was visited by a food standards officer in June 2014, with a lamb tikka meal they purchased found to consist ‘entirely’ of cheaper beef meat.

At a hearing at Barnsley Magistrates Court, Mohammed Hossain was charged under food safety legislation with misleading customers by providing meat which was not of the type demanded and failing to provide traceability information for the meat he was using. He blamed his supplier for providing the wrong meat, but was unable to provide invoices showing that he had been buying lamb meat for the restaurant around the time the sample was taken.

Mr Hossain pleaded guilty to the charges and after receiving credit for his early guilty plea was fined £2,800 plus £1,008.53 costs and a £180 victim surcharge; a total of £3,988.53. In sentencing, the Magistrate stated that the fine reflected the seriousness of these offences.

Christina Heeley, Senior Officer, Barnsley Council Regulatory Services, said: “We need to rely on descriptions that food business operators apply to their food. This is particularly important when it comes to types of meat as so many people choose to avoid certain meats. Substitution of beef for lamb in takeaway meals is a widespread food fraud which we are committed to eliminate. It simply isn’t fair on either consumers or businesses trading honestly.”