Adulterated meat discovered in Coventry outlets

Food outlets, including butcher’s shops, in Coventry have been slammed by Trading Standards for selling adulterated meat products.

Inspectors at Coventry Trading Standards were said to be “horrified” after they uncovered several food outlets substituting meat products with cheaper alternatives. The inspectors found butchers to be selling minced lamb that actually contained “significant” amounts of beef.

Takeaway outlets also fared badly with a number of the city’s takeaways using goat in some meals sold as lamb, and beef substituted with poultry.

Another example showed a lamb curry to contain no lamb, but a mixture of beef and poultry. Meanwhile, one sample, described as a grilled lamb kebab, contained 12% veal.

Allan Harwood, business compliance manager at Coventry Trading, said: “The levels of adulteration in meat products in some city takeaways is very disturbing and completely unacceptable.

“Unfortunately, we’ve found that misleading customers with inaccurate descriptions isn’t a rare occurrence – two-thirds of the samples tested failed, with half of these being significant failures.”

In April this year, consumer watchdog magazine Which? tested lamb curries and kebabs in 60 takeaway restaurants in Birmingham and London. Twenty-four of the samples contained lamb mixed with other meats, while seven samples contained no trace of lamb at all.

Councillor Patricia Hetherton, chair of the Licensing and Regulatory Committee, said: “These shocking results show the value of Trading Standards checking what is actually in our food. I’m sure a number of people will be disappointed and upset to discover that their favourite lamb curry could actually be goat, beef or chicken.

“If further investigations uncover that these are deliberate cases of fraud, then they will be robustly enforced and could be prosecuted.”

Coventry Trading Standards said it has issued formal warnings to some establishments, with some businesses subject to ongoing investigations.