A Leeds takeaway boss has been fined after falling foul of food retail regulations.
Mohammed Rafiq, director of Mar Takeaway Ltd, trading as Stazione Pizza and Sanam Balti on Station Road in Cross Gates, pleaded guilty to offences under the Food Safety Act 1990 when he appeared before magistrates in the city.
He was fined £500 with a £50 victim surcharge and also told to pay costs of £2,172.
The case came about after a dish obtained from the takeaway by an officer from West Yorkshire Trading Standards as part of a routine check in September last year was found to contain beef rather than the advertised lamb.
Interviewed by trading standards officers, Mr Rafiq said he thought he had ordered lamb from his supplier – although receipts that were provided did not specify the kind of meat purchased.
David Lodge, head of West Yorkshire Trading Standards, said: “Consumers rightly expect to get what they pay for.
“This takeaway made substitutions seemingly to save money, without informing the customer.
“West Yorkshire Trading Standards will continue to take action against takeaways or restaurants flouting the law.”
Coun Pauleen Grahame, deputy chair of the West Yorkshire Joint Services Committee, which oversees the work of West Yorkshire Trading Standards, said: “Takeaways must take steps to ensure all menu descriptions accurately reflect the dishes they serve.
“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.”
Mr Rafiq today told the Yorkshire Evening Post he had tightened up procedures to try to ensure there was no repeat of the incident.
Anyone who suspects a restaurant or takeaway meal has been incorrectly described is asked to report the matter via the Citizens Advice Bureau on 03454 040506.
For further information about the work of West Yorkshire Trading Standards, visit www.ts.wyjs.org.uk.