4 April 2018

Meat substitution continues to be a problem in Sheffield with another takeaway fined for trying to save costs by selling a lamb takeaway which turned out to be beef.

Concord Pizza, on Elm Lane in Sheffield, is the latest fast food outlet to be caught misleading the public. The owners were prosecuted under the Food Safety Act 1990. The legislation makes it an offence to sell food that is falsely described.

One of the partners in the business, Mr Mohammad Rajabi, 49 years old, of Cowper Crescent in Sheffield, pleaded guilty to the charge, at a hearing at Sheffield Magistrates Court on 27 March, and was fined a total of £1,015.

The prosecution was brought by Sheffield city council’s trading standards team. Officers visited the premises and made a test purchase in December 2016. They specifically chose a meal which was described on the display menu as being made with lamb. When analysed, the kebab was found to be made of beef which is cheaper than lamb.

This case is part of the council’s ongoing investigation into this type of food fraud which is a national as well as a local problem. The problem was brought to the public’s attention following the horsemeat scandal in 2013, when it was discovered that food advertised as beef contained horsemeat. Previous surveys nationally have shown that adulteration rates can be as high as 50% of takeaway meals analysed.

Ian Ashmore, Head of Environmental Regulation at Sheffield city council said:

“Substitution undermines customer confidence in the takeaway trade and is unfair on customers who are being cheated out of their money by paying for a more expensive meat and being given a cheap alternative.

“This case is part of our continuing work surrounding meat substitution and more checks will be carried out during the coming year.”

Anyone can report their suspicions or make a complaint by calling 03454 040506 or at, https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/get-more-help/if-you-need-more-help-about-a-consumer-issue/