Restaurant served up beef in ‘lamb’ dish

A genuine lamb curry.
A genuine lamb curry.

A Ripon restaurant has been fined £3,000 after the meat in a “lamb” curry it sold was found to be 100 per cent beef.

Trading standards officers made a test purchase of the curry at Moti Raj on High Skellgate and in the subsequent investigation the business said it had ordered meat from its suppliers, rather than specifying lamb, which had led to it being supplied with the wrong product.

Motiraj Contemporary Ltd pleaded guilty at Harrogate Magistrates Court on Wednesday last week to offences related to providing food not of the nature demanded to the prejudice of the purchaser and applying a false label to that food. In addition to the £3,000 fine, the business was ordered to pay costs of £547 and a £120 victim surcharge.

The magistrates commented that while this was not a food safety matter and there were no consumer complaints, the public took a dim view of this and such an offence could have religious implications for some faiths.

North Yorkshire County Council’s trading standards officers are now warning all North Yorkshire caterers not to be tempted into using beef as a substitute for lamb as a way of reducing the cost of the meals they produce.

County Coun Chris Metcalfe, executive member for Trading Standards and Planning Services, said: “If a consumer pays for a lamb dish then he or she should be given lamb and not a cheaper alternative. Trading standards will continue to carry out intelligence-led work to tackle this type of crime.”