Ethnic food producer fined for mislabelling kebabs

One of Asda's largest halal suppliers has been fined £10,000 for adding beef protein and yoghurt to a chicken kebab recipe without changing the ingredients list on the packaging.

Trading Standards prosecuted the Preston-based firm under the food safety laws for causing “Asda to sell chicken kebabs not of the nature demanded by the purchaser”, which it said could cause problems for consumers who are allergic to those ingredients.

The prosecution arose after a consumer suspected that the chicken kebabs she had bought from Asda contained other meat as well as the chicken, and paid for a sample of the leftovers to be sent to a lab to be tested.

Preston Magistrates Court said that the firm was “reckless and negligent” for selling a product that contained less meat and more connective tissue than it should, as well as it containing beef when it should not.

The company admitted adding yoghurt to the recipe around about two months before the testing took place in June, but they could not recall for certain when the recipe was changed. The recipe information was not updated and this could have led to problems for customers suffering with allergies, the court was told.

However the firm's lawyer said that the company took the issue of quality "very seriously" and that they could not understand where the beef protein had come from, as they did not sell beef products.

Prosecuting, Nick McNamara, said: “The company admitted they do not carry out routine product sampling and, even then, sampling is only carried out following a change of supplier or a packaging re-design.”

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