A takeaway owner has been fined - for passing off a beef curry as lamb.
Nisar Ahmed sold the meal from his New Mill shop but fell foul of a curry crackdown by West Yorkshire watchdogs.
Now he and the butcher who supplied him, Abrar Ahmed, have been handed hefty fines by magistrates.
Nisar Ahmed, who runs the B Medina Asian Takeaway on Huddersfield Road, has also been convicted of selling chicken tikka masala with excessive artificial colour.
The cases follow a blitz by West Yorkshire Trading Standards into curries.
It was launched in the spring and officers found that almost half the lamb curries tested contained beef – a much cheaper meat.
Trading Standards Officers carried out spot checks on takeaways across the county, including Huddersfield and Halifax, to check the authenticity of the ‘lamb’ used in curries.
Sixteen samples of ‘lamb curry’ have been analysed so far by the West Yorkshire Public Analyst and, of those, seven have actually been found to be made of beef.
The Food Safety Act 1990 makes it a criminal offence to mislead consumers about the food they buy.
Nisar Ahmed appeared at Kirklees Magistrates Court and pleaded guilty to both offences.
He was ordered to pay fines and costs totalling £1,455.
He claimed to have been buying “lamb” from Abrar butchers, although it came in plain carrier bags invoiced as “meat”.
He said Abrar butchers were the only butchers that he dealt with and that he never intentionally sold beef as lamb.
In relation to the excessive colour, he was following a recipe given by previous owners and he had now reduced the amount of colour put in the curries.
Abrar Ahmed, owner of Abrar butchers of Victoria Road, Lockwood , also appeared at Kirklees Magistrates Court for supplying the takeaway with meat verbally described as “lamb” but which was actually beef.
He pleaded guilty to the offence and was ordered to pay a fine and costs totalling £1,355.
He said that he was deeply ashamed by the incident.
He said he could have supplied beef by mistake to Nisar Ahmed or that the takeaway could have been buying the beef from elsewhere.
Clr Andrew Pinnock, a Kirklees councillor who serves on the the West Yorkshire Trading Standards Committee, said: “Lamb is more expensive than beef so takeaways are using beef to reduce costs.
“Whilst this may have been an accident rather than a deliberate act, it was an accident waiting to happen due to negligence of both parties.
“It is important that businesses describe the species of meat on their invoices instead of stating ‘meat’ to prevent these mistakes from happening.
“Anyone who has a legitimate concern that this is happening in their local takeaway or restaurant, should contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 08454 04 05 06 ”.