The owners of a takeaway admitted not knowing what meat went into their lamb curry.
Adnan Altaf Butt and Abid Hussain, owners of Taj’s Asian Cuisine in Bankfoot Place, Batley, ordered ‘meat’ from their supplier and sold it as lamb curry – but a West Yorkshire Trading Standards investigation revealed it was beef.
Huddersfield Magistrates Court heard on Wednesday Butt, 37, of Trueman Avenue, Heckmondwike, and Hussain, 31, of Loxley Street, Batley, had been selling beef curries described as lamb since taking over the business last May.
Prosecutor Samantha Lawton said Trading Standards tested food from the takeaway following a routine inspection on July 16 last year.
The partners told them in a later interview Butt’s job was delivering food while Hussain took orders and cooked dishes, and they took equal responsibility for ordering stock.
Mr Hussain said he ordered ‘curry balti’ which was diced meat – and both said they couldn’t tell the difference between lamb and beef.
The supplier said the partners always ordered ‘meat’ which was beef. They had never asked what meat was being supplied.
In mitigation, Khaleeq Zaman said the pair were former taxi drivers who took over the business from Hussain’s uncle when he became ill, rather than letting it close.
He said they used the same supplier and the same menu, but they accepted they should have checked what they were ordering.
He said: “They have learned lessons since this offence and they have taken positive steps to rectify matters. They have since changed the name to Franco’s Pizzas and have changed the menu. They are actively telling customers.”
Magistrates told the pair they believed it was a ‘reckless and deliberate act’. They pleaded guilty to selling food not of the substance demanded by the purchaser and were each ordered to pay £500 fine, £650 costs and £50 victim surcharge.