Leeds takeaway fined for ‘food fraud’

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A takeaway in west Leeds has been fined for ‘food fraud’.

Sikandar Mahmood, owner of Al Naseeb Balti House, on Richardshaw Lane, Pudsey, found himself before Leeds Magistrates Court after an inspection by West Yorkshire Trading Standards.

As part of routine sampling work, officers ordered a Lamb Nawabi Khana from the takeaway’s menu leaflet but when it was subsequently analysed, it was found to be beef.

Mahmood was interviewed by West Yorkshire Trading Standards and said it was a mistake due to a mix up in the bowls of meat used in the kitchen area, and denied that it had been done on purpose.

He appeared at Leeds Magistrates Court on October 2 and pleaded guilty to an offence under the Food Safety Act 1990.

He was given a conditional discharge, and was ordered to pay costs of £2,875 and a victim surcharge of £15.

David Lodge, head of Trading Standards, said “Consumers rightly expect to get what they pay for. It appears that Mr Mahmood did not take sufficient precautions to ensure that the officer got the meal he asked for.”

Counc Pauline Grahame, deputy chair of the West Yorkshire Joint Services Committee, which oversees the work of Trading Standards, said: “Takeaways must take steps to ensure all the dishes they serve accurately reflect the menu descriptions. The mis-description of food whether verbally or in writing is an offence and samples are taken to identify those businesses failing to comply with the law.”

If anyone suspects that their restaurant or takeaway meal is incorrectly described please contact Trading Standards, via the Citizens Advice Bureau on 03454 040506 to report the matter.