A BARNSLEY takeaway faces a fine and costs of almost £8,000 for tricking its customers with wrong meat and a false hygiene rating.
Asim Tanvir, 25, trading as Haseebs, on Barnsley Road, Cudworth, bought the business in November 2011, but failed to register as the food business operator.
When council food officers visited in September 2013 he pretended he was not the owner. Although the business was downgraded to a rating of three during that inspection, and Mr Tanvir was warned to remove all reference to a higher rating, he continued to promote his business with a rating of five on advertisement material.
After receiving a complaint from a customer who had ordered a lamb meal from Haseebs and was worried that the meat was not lamb, council officers visited the business and took a further sample of a lamb curry.
Both the consumer’s sample and the officer's sample was found to consist entirely of beef meat.
Barnsley Magistrates' Court told Tanvir that this was a serious case of food fraud and that in addition to the financial gain to the defendant, he had taken away the choice from consumers, who may wish to avoid certain meats from personal choice or on religious grounds.
He submitted a guilty plea and was fined £5,000 plus full prosecution costs of £2,696.72 and a £120 victim surcharge, totalling £7,816.72.
Coun Roy Miller said: "Consumers should have complete faith in the food they buy. It is hoped that this case will send out a clear message to businesses that misleading consumers will not be tolerated."