‘Name and shame meat cheats’, says top curry chef

AN award-winning curry chef has challenged food authorities and media outlets to “name and shame” any one of more than 2,000 affiliated restaurants if they are found serving mislabelled meat.

Curry chefs say they have become increasingly dismayed by attempts to link their trade to the horse meat scandal, which has extended to allegations of mislabelled meat and most recently speculation that they may even be serving cat and dog.

Asaddar Ali, chairman of the Bangladeshi Catering Association Scotland, said: “I have been in this business over 35 years and I have never come across any restaurant trying to pass off lamb as beef, let alone serving horse, cat or dog.

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“Eating cat and dog is against the culture and religion of the entire Indian subcontinent.

“Members of the Bangladeshi catering community have become increasingly concerned by the latest speculation, which we see as an attack on our trade.”

BCAS has linked up with the Guild of Bangladeshi Restaurants to invite food and media watchdogs to test any of the 2,000 plus restaurants and takeaways affiliated to their organisations.

The restaurants are willing to be publicly named and punished if they are found guilty, according to Mr Ali. Eastern Spices, Mr Ali’s Edinburgh curry outlet, was named takeaway of the year at last year’s Scottish Curry Awards.

The latest speculation stemmed from BBC3 documentary Horsemeat Banquet, where a “lamb curry” from an anonymous London takeaway reportedly tested negative for lamb, pork, chicken, beef, horse, and goat, and was ultimately deemed unidentified.

It comes amid widespread reports of horse meat found in the British food chain.

A leaked report by the Scottish Food Enforcement Liaison Committee also reportedly tested 129 restaurants over 18 months, and found 46 outlets mislabelling beef as lamb.

Officials and councils refused to identify the restaurants or butchers involved, according to the Daily Record newspaper which obtained the leaked report.

Mr Ali said: “These organisations have a responsibility to name the outlets involved, or those involved should put their hands up, in order to lift the suspicion from the thousands of responsible restaurants and takeaways that care about the content and quality of their food, and the health and wellbeing of their customers.

“If they will not, we are willing to put our food forward for testing and will accept any measure of public disgrace and official punishment if any of our members are found wanting.

“We cannot allow our trade to be besmirched by irresponsible media reports and scaremongering.”