Britain’s Food Standards Agency (FSA) has called for new tests on takeaways and kebab shops after a survey found that a staggering third of all lamb takeaways and kebabs contained a different meat.
The FSA found that 43 out of 145 samples of curries or kebabs were “wrongly described” with 25 of those samples containing beef, which is cheaper than lamb.
Chicken and turkey were also found, but no samples contained horsemeat.
Another study by consumer group Which? found that nearly half of all dishes it inspected contained different meat, including five samples which consisted of a meat that “could not be identified”.
While a Which? official said this may have been due the fact that the meat had been re-cooked, there is a possibility that it could have come from an animal not normally eaten in the UK.
Lamb dishes are particularly vulnerable to fraud because the meat is expensive, meaning takeaways might replace it with poor quality, cheaper cuts of beef, chicken and turkey.
The businesses involved in what expert called a “widespread fraud” face fines of up to £5000.
As part of its campaign to “Stop Food Fraud”, Which? is now calling on the government to take further action to restore customer confidence in the origins of meat.
Which? also wants the government to implement some of the recommendations in an independent review which followed last year’s horsemeat scandal.