A Brixton butcher who conned his customers by selling them cheap mutton instead of valuable goat meat has received a roasting in court.
Jameel Ahmed was prosecuted by Lambeth council after food safety inspectors found he was passing off mutton as more expensive goat meat to turn a profit at his butcher shop, J A Halal Meat, in Atlantic Road, Brixton.
Genuine goat meat can cost around £16 a kilo, compared to mutton which sells for around £10 a kilo.
The council was tipped off by an angry customer who had suspicions after getting home and cooking the meat. Inspectors visited the shop three times and found the meat mislabelled on each occasion, despite issuing Mr Ahmed with formal warnings that he faced prosecution if he continued the scam.
“This wasn’t so much ‘mutton dressed up as lamb’ as ‘mutton dressed up as goat,’” said Cllr Lorna Campbell, Lambeth cabinet member for environment. “We are determined to crack down on the minority of shops who seek to rip off their customers,” she added.
Ahmed pleaded guilty to an offence of mislabelling meat under Regulation 5 of The General Food Regulations 2004. He was given a fine of £100 at Tower Bridge Magistrates’ Court on 7 February.
He also pleaded guilty to another offence under health and safety laws for failing to provide a slice thickness guard on one of his saws used for slicing meat, putting his staff at risk of injury. The safety guard protects the user’s hands from the moving blade. He received a further fine for this of £250. He was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £15 and council costs of £2,878.
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