Derby outlets in adulterated meat scandal

Adulterated meat has been uncovered in retailers and takeaways in Derby, which could be falsely selling halal meat.

Derby city council reported over 20% of “halal” samples contained undeclared meats. These included lamb burgers and kebabs containing undeclared beef or chicken meat. Meanwhile, some lamb doner kebabs contained “mostly” chicken meat, raising questions over the slaughter method of the undeclared meat.

The council’s Trading Standards team analysed the collected DNA samples for meat species, and where claims for halal were being made, asked manufacturers to prove that the meat used was from animals slaughtered according to Islamic principles.

However, several manufacturers failed to reply to the request, the council reported.

Councillor Asaf Afzal, cabinet member for Streetpride and Neighbourhoods, said: “Consumers rely on accurate food descriptions. Some foods are not permitted to be eaten by some religions and cultures, and consumers should be able to have confidence that if they are buying an expensive product such as lamb, they are not getting chicken instead – a meat that is half the price. When consumers visit their local takeaway, they may think they are eating local produce when in fact we have found halal meat imported from Australia, Holland, New Zealand, Ireland, Thailand and Turkey.”

This follows last week’s revelation of meat adulteration in Coventry food outlets, where inspectors said they were “horrified” after they uncovered several outlets substituting meat products with cheaper alternatives.

Consumer magazine and watchdog Which? launched a Stop Food Fraud campaign in April this year after a survey of takeaway outlets in Birmingham and London found 40% of lamb samples tested positive for other meats. The watchdog stated on its website: “Food law enforcement must be delivered effectively and efficiently by local authorities, so that consumers can have confidence in the food they eat.”

It also said: “The Food Standards Agency must ensure there is joined-up action at a national and local level to tackle food fraud that makes best use of limited resources and prioritises consumer interests.”

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