A curry house was landed with an £11,000 court bill after selling a ‘lamb bhuna’ made with beef.
Shabana Indian Lounge, of Sandal, was the subject of a West Yorkshire Trading Standards test purchase last May after a complaint it was using beef in its lamb curries and kebabs.
Prosecutor Paul Jaques told city magistrates yesterday how a lamb bhuna and two kebabs were sent to the public analyst following a telephone order on May 8.
Mr Jaques added: “The results from the public analyst showed that the lamb bhuna, and the sheekh and shami kebabs verbally described as lamb tested positive for beef protein, but negative for sheep protein.”
Manager Fozlur Rahman later told officers that he had managed the premises at the Sandal Castle Centre for about five months. He said he had never bought lamb but was intending to buy some the week after the interview.
The court heard he claimed the waiter had made a mistake by telling the test purchase officer that minced lamb was used not beef. He said the business had adopted old menus from the previous owners. These contained lamb dishes.
They normally told customers who ordered lamb that it was beef, but Mr Rahman accepted it was not the case with the officer’s order.
The company admitted three offences under the Food Safety Act relating to described meals.
Defence solicitors Simpson Duxbury told the court in a letter: “There is no allegation public health has been compromised and there were no health or religious issues.”
The court heard the company also had a clean record.
Magistrate Barbara Phipps, passing sentence, said: “Whereas the representatives of the company may be trying to distance themselves from blame, there is a responsibility to the public they are confident they are consuming lamb when ordering dishes described as such.”
The company was fined £9,000. It must also pay £2,189 costs and a £120 victim surcharge.