New meat scandal- do you know what's in *your* curry?
You thought the meat-that-isn’t-what-you-think-it-is scandal was over didn’t you? You are happily chomping away on bits of flesh convinced that is is what the retailer says it is. Even when you eat a curry?
The bad news is that Trading Standards officers have been investigating the meat served up in curries in the Midlands and the North of England and have found that some curries are not what they say they are, with up to 84% of those sampled being a different meat. The good news* is that the meat masquerading as lamb in the lamb curries tested, was most commonly beef or chicken, or a mixture of all the above.
In West Yorkshire, Trading Standards discovered one in two lamb curries on sale contained no lamb at all – only beef, while in North Yorkshire eight out of ten dishes comprised lamb mixed with cheaper meats. In Warwickshire, 16 out of 19 lamb curries bought used mainly beef or chicken – with four containing no lamb at all.
In Birmingham, home of the curry mile, all dishes tested contained some lamb, but only half were just lamb, the rest were mixed with beef and chicken.
Officers also bought 20 lamb kebabs, all of which were mixed with pork, beef or chicken. Artificial colouring linked to hyperactivity in children was found in 70% of the kebabs, with particularly luminous examples containing levels 18 times and 13 times higher than the limit allowed. Although, to be honest, someone buying a child a kebab is probably not thinking about its nutritional values.
Trading Standards officer Trevor Gray said: “Our initial findings suggest that the problem is quite widespread. We have got to get the word out to owners that if they are cheating customers they are going to get caught.”
Nick Lowe, also of Trading Standards, told the Daily Mail: “It is quite difficult to tell when it’s curry. Some of the dishes are highly coloured … which makes it more difficult to distinguish and the spices will disguise some of the flavour of the meat.
“But we are going through difficult economic times … so the incentive to cut corners is much greater,” he added, watching a stray dog disappear into the back of a curry house.
*unless you don’t eat these meats for religious or other purposes