Takeaway fined for misleading customers over cheaper meat

A takeaway owner has been forced to shell out more than £1,600 after substituting meat for cheaper cuts.

Mohammed Rafan Khan runs the New Paradise shop on Horbury’s Westfield Road and was caught out during a sting operation by Trading Standards officers.

The offences related to the supply of a lamb naan wrap which consisted largely of beef.

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In February 2017 an officer placed a telephone order for the wrap which appeared on New Paradise’s online menu.

Khan served the meal to the officer. The meal was then submitted to the public analyst for compositional analysis.

It was determined that the major meat ingredient was in fact beef, the remainder being derived from sheep.

Khan subsequently told the Trading Standards officer he had not done this deliberately, claiming the beef in his kitchen was for personal use but he admitted that there was no lamb on the premises because his usual supplier did not have any.

Khan had been previously warned in August 2015 for supplying an identical product containing beef.

He had at this time received extensive training on food standards requirements to try and prevent any recurrence.

Khan, of Springdale Street, Huddersfield, pleaded guilty to two offences under the Food Safety Act 1990 at Leeds Magistrates’ Court this week.

He was fined a total of £280 plus £1,418 prosecution costs and a £13 victim surcharge.

The Food Safety Act prohibits the sale of food which is not of the nature demanded by the purchaser.

A food described as a lamb naan wrap should consist of meat only derived from sheep.

The maximum penalty in the magistrates’ court for such offending is a fine of £20,000 and or six months imprisonment.

David Lodge, head of West Yorkshire Trading Standards said: “This result demonstrates the seriousness with which the courts view traders who flout their legal responsibilities.

“Consumers rightly expect to get what they pay for, this takeaway substituted cheaper meat and didn’t bother to alter the menu descriptions.

“Trading Standards will continue to take action against any businesses exploiting consumers.”

Councillor Jo Hepworth, chair of the West Yorkshire Joint Services Committee, which oversees the work of Trading Standards, said: “Businesses need to take their legal responsibilities seriously and I support the action taken in this case to protect the public from those which cheat their customers by substituting meat in this way.”