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Neston town councillor fined for restaurant serving beef instead of lamb

Abdul Jilani, 60, owned The Red Fox in Tiverton and said the mix up was 'entirely accidental'

Neston town councillor Abdul Jilani

A Neston town councillor was fined for his Indian restaurant serving beef in a curry instead of lamb.

Abdul Jilani, 60, of Millfield, Neston owned The Red Fox in Tiverton when the mixed-up meat was put into a jalfrezi on May 28, 2014.

A different brand of gin had also been put into a Gordon’s Gin bottle.

Presiding magistrate Dr Elaine Hemmings said: “We do view these type of offences as very serious.

“When people go into a restaurant they trust the menu and expect to eat or drink exactly what they ordered.”

Trading Standards were called in after a diner questioned the contents of a lamb jalfrezi they were served.

Tests showed the meat was actually beef, and a sample taken from the spirits proved to be London Gin in a Gordon’s Gin bottle.

Richard Thomas, defending, said: “It was entirely accidental, but both my client and the company accept this was caused by their negligence.

“This has never happened in the course of 40 years of my client owning restaurants.”

The Red Fox Indian restaurant at Four Lane Ends in Tiverton

Jilani, town councillor for the Little Neston ward, pleaded guilty at Chester Magistrates Court to charges of selling food not of the substance advertised and giving or displaying falsely labelled drinks.

At the time he ran Tarporley Indian Cuisine Limited, who also owned restaurants in Ellesmere Port and Tattenhall .

The company was fined £3,375 in total, while Jilani was fined £2,115 as a culpable director.

But as the 60-year-old has since sold the company, he must pay both fines.

Beef was not available in any dish on the menu, but was ordered in for a Sunday special.

Trading Standards prosecuted the case on behalf of Cheshire West and Chester Council .

Ian Moore, prosecuting, said: “He did not seem to have any systems in place to see the food was actually in compliance with guidelines.

“No staff training records were kept and the chef was left to his own devices.”

In a police interview Jilani, who holds a personal licence, said potential staff were not asked too many questions ‘or they would not come and work for us’.

He has since introduced regular staff training and procedures including using coloured bowls so meats are not mixed up.

Mr Thomas said the experience had put Jilani ‘off being involved in the restaurant business completely’.

As well as his position on the town council, the 60-year-old is a prominent member of the Bangladeshi community for Cheshire , including being head of a liaison group with the police.

The evidence will also be referred to CWAC's licensing committee for them to consider, who could decide to revoke Mr Jilani's licence.

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