Checks on the description and ingredients of kebab meat by trading standards officers in Dorset have led to one business being prosecuted for descriptions used in its Weymouth shop.
On 22 January 2018, at Weymouth Magistrates Court, Yado Ltd, a company that runs Weymouth Kebab House, in Westham Road, Weymouth pleaded guilty to two charges of making misleading statements to customers about the meat in its doner kebabs. The court ordered that they pay a total of £2,050 in fines and costs.
The court heard that in December 2016 officers of Dorset County Council trading standards service purchased a kebab which was described on a menu as a “Lamb Doner. Famous Turkish dish of specially seasoned fresh lamb seasoned with herbs and spices grilled on an upright spit then carved”.
On analysis by the public analyst the sample was found to contain lamb and beef. Investigations found that the meat used consisted of mostly lamb but also 24 percent beef. The investigation also revealed that the kebab meat was delivered frozen and was not “fresh” as stated on the menu.
When trading standards officers revisited the premises a second time in June 2017 there was still a menu on display that claimed that the kebabs were prepared with “…fresh lean lamb”.
Mr Tanyel, a former director of the company, apologised to the court and said they had not misdescribed the products intentionally. He claimed that they had not been able to afford to amend the signs which were there when they bought the shop.
Richard Herringshaw, Principal Trading Standards Officer for Dorset County Council said: “Consumers should be able to trust the descriptions applied to food by businesses. Hopefully all food retailers will take this message seriously and ensure that their descriptions are accurate.”
Any Dorset business that is unsure of their legal responsibilities under trading standards legislation can call the Trading Standards business advice line on 01305 224702.
Consumers who need to complain about any goods or services should contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 04 05 06 or visit https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/