By Steve Hayes 27/04 Updated: 27/04 15:06
PEOPLE may not be getting what they expect when they buy a lamb curry or kebab in Stratford.
Trading standards officers visited restaurants and takeaways in the town as part of a countywide test of the ingredients contained in lamb curries and kebabs.
Officers sampled a total of 20 restaurants in Warwickshire and found not one of the lamb kebabs they purchased contained only lamb.
They all contained a mixture of lamb together with either pork, beef or poultry.
Of the 19 lamb curries tested, only three contained just lamb. Again, most contained a mixture of lamb together with either beef or poultry. While astonishingly four lamb curries didn’t contain any lamb at all.
Lamb is typically the most expensive meat consumers can buy, followed by beef and pork with chicken being the cheapest and trading standards bosses wanted to check consumers were getting what they were paying for.
The foods were also checked for high levels of artificial colourings and although none of the curries were found to contain high levels of colours, 70 per cent of the kebabs tested did.
One contained levels of artificial colouring that were 18 times higher than permitted, another was 13 times higher.
Warwickshire County Council's community safety chief, Richard Hobbs, said every restaurant would be contacted and further investigations will take place.
He said: "Trading Standards carry out important work to help ensure that the food we eat is correctly described and safe.
"Consumers rely on accurate food descriptions. Some foods are not permitted to be eaten by some religions and cultures whilst some people may wish to avoid some foods because of allergy concerns.
"Consumers should also have the confidence that if they are buying an expensive product such as lamb, that they are not getting chicken instead, a meat that is half the price.
"Warwickshire Trading Standards will now be contacting every restaurant and takeaway involved. Further investigations are to be carried out and advice will be provided to retailers and the wholesale trade."
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