The manager of a Coventry curry restaurant has been fined after Trading Standards officers ordered a lamb balti – and ended up with a meal made only of beef.
Mr Mohammed Uddin, aged 52, of Stoney Stanton Road, the manager of the New Bengal Spice Restaurant in Corporation Street ,was fined £256 and ordered to pay £706 in costs and a £30 victim charge.
He appeared in Coventry Magistrates Court on 24 May alongside the limited company that ran the restaurant, New Bengal Spice (Coventry) Ltd, which was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay £1,000 costs and a £170 victim surcharge.
Both defendants pleaded guilty to offences under the Food Safety Act 1990 and the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.
Magistrates heard that after the officers had bought the meal and revealed who they were, Mr Uddin admitted that he thought the meat was mutton instead of lamb, but a DNA test revealed the meat was beef and there were no traces of either mutton or lamb.
Speaking after the hearing, Allan Harwood, Trading Standards and Consumer Protection Manager, said: “Customers have a right to be confident that the food they buy is as described. The substitution of meat products is entirely unacceptable and unfair to those businesses that play by the rules. It is often surprising that customers cannot tell the difference, however, in a curry they may rely more on texture than taste.
“Trading Standards play a critical role in safeguarding the integrity of the food chain and will continue to take action to ensure that this is not undermined.”
Anyone who is worried about the accuracy of food descriptions can contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040 506.