Curry house has head in the sand over an ‘ostrich’ curry
On 21st March 2014 Leeds Magistrates Court imposed a £600 fine, £2125.82 costs and £60 victim surcharge on Mohammad Moklus Ali, Managing Director of Elamis Restaurant Gildersome Ltd who own Elamis, 1-3 Finkle Lane, Gildersome, Leeds, LS27 7DX.
On 8th May 2013, following a complaint, an officer placed an order for an Ostrich Nirala curry at the restaurant and takeaway. However, when analysed by the West Yorkshire Public Analyst, the results revealed that the meat was actually lamb.
The Director, Mr Mohammad Moklus Ali was interviewed by Officers regarding the alleged offence. He thought the reason for the result was due to a mix up by the chef using the wrong meat. However no invoices or receipts were produced to officers to prove he had ever purchased ostrich meat.
The Food Safety Act 1990 makes it a criminal offence to mislead consumers about the food they buy. It is a legal requirement to accurately describe food that is being sold.
Councillor Bill Urry, of the Trading Standards Committee, said: “Ostrich is a more expensive meat than lamb which is a strong incentive for a takeaway to switch the meats in order to keep costs down and increase their profit margins. Takeaways carrying out meat substitution are clearly misleading their customers, whilst increasing their profits. Anyone who has a legitimate concern that meat substitution is happening in their local takeaway or restaurant, should contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 08454 04 05 06.”