Manchester takeaway fined for substituting meat

A Rochdale takeaway restaurant has been hit with a £6,000 fine after being found guilty of substituting meat in meals. 

During an investigation by Rochdale Borough Council into Khan’s Takeaway on Milnrow Road, the restaurant was found to be replacing its lamb as beef.

The violation came to the attention of the council’s trading standards team when a customer complained in July last year, alleging that when they ordered a lamb bhuna meal, there was no lamb present.

Following on from this complaint, the restaurant was provided with written advice.

In September 2015, a council officer went undercover as a customer visiting Khan’s Takeaway and ordered a lamb madras meal. The meat from this dish was used as a formal sample, which was later analysed as containing 100% beef. When he identified himself, the council officer also inspected the restaurant’s kitchen area, where he found only chicken and beef in the refrigerators.

Trading as Khan’s Takeaway, Liaqat Hussain Shah, admitted he could put processes in place to prevent such errors being made in the future, such as labelling the food containers or having a system to clearly differentiate the meats.

Shah was charged with selling food that was “not of the nature, substance or quality demanded by the purchase” under the Food Safety Act (1990). He pleaded guilty to the offence on Tuesday, 4 October 2016.

After he failed to prove that he took all of the reasonable precautions and exercised all due diligence to avoid committing the same offence again, he was found guilty and ordered to pay a £3,000 fine and over £3,000 in costs and charges within 28 days.

“I hope that this sentence will serve as a warning that this type of irresponsible trading will not be tolerated,” said councillor Janet Emsley, Rochdale Borough Council’s cabinet member for culture, health and wellbeing.

“Consumers have a right to know that the food they are eating is what they ordered and that it’s safe for consumption. We are doing a lot of work with our food outlets to make sure that the customer is always put first and that their safety and wellbeing is adequately catered for. Our food hygiene team are always on hand to advise businesses how to reach and maintain the required standards.”

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