£8,000 court bill for restaurant that served lamb curry containing beef

The owners of Ashiana Exquisite Asian Cuisine on Bridge Street in Appleby have been fined Credit: Google Streetview

A restaurant director in Appleby has been left with a court bill of almost £8,000 after a lamb curry meal served at the premises was found to contain beef.

Abul Kashem, 48, was prosecuted following a test purchase by a Cumbria County Council Trading Standards Officer on 4 August 2021.

This was carried out at Ashiana Exquisite Asian Cuisine, Bridge Street, Appleby.

Carlisle Magistrates’ Court heard that a lamb curry meal was ordered.

However, subsequent analysis of the meat showed it comprised 50% beef as well as the lamb. This, said a prosecutor, had the potential to offend somebody with religious beliefs that the cow was a sacred animal.

The meat was bought from a supplier in Yorkshire in packaging with no labels.

Kashem, of Bridge Street, Appleby, admitted two charges: selling food not of the nature demanded by the purchaser; and failing to comply with EU provision concerning food safety and hygiene by failing to have in place a system and procedure which allowed food traceability information to be made available.

Both offences were breaches of food safety legislation.

Kashem was fined £775, and ordered to pay a mandatory £78 surcharge and prosecution costs of £7,107.15 — a total bill of £7,960.15.

Speaking after the hearing, his legal representative Hammad Fahim said there was no suggestion that the two meats had been deliberately mixed.

Traces of beef DNA had been found during scientific testing.

Mr Fahim said the restaurant had repeatedly received five-star hygiene ratings during the past decade.

“He bought it in good faith. He sold it in good faith,” said Mr Fahim of the meat. “He is ensuring no such meat is ever sold again.

“The company is committed to providing the best possible food for the community. He has a good standing in the community. There is nothing to suggest from (the court) outcome that that should be affected.”

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