A SKIMPING Halal butchers has been slapped with a £15,000 fine after being caught selling ‘lamb’ mince laced with cheap beef.

Master Halal Meat butchers in Ayres Road, Old Trafford, was found guilty of two counts of food fraud at Trafford Magistrates Court April 1.

The discovery was made after Trafford Council’s Environmental Health Officers sampled produce from a number of food outlets across the borough in the wake of the UK horse meat scandal in 2015.

During the inspections, a sample lamb pattie taken from a bakery was found to contain just 50 per cent lamb. The owners insisted they were not responsible and pointed to their supplier, Master Halal Meat.

Two samples of ‘lamb’ mince were taken directly from the supplier in March 2015 and were found to contain 50 per cent beef and 30 per cent beef respectively.

When interviewed by officers, director of Master Halal Meat, Abdul Fadel, blamed the shop manager and said he had recently been sacked.

The officers returned to the shop two months later and took a further sample of ‘lamb’ mince.

The sample was again found to contain 50 per cent beef, leaving officers no choice but to prosecute Fadel.

Master Halal Meat was found guilty of two offences of selling food of the nature demanded by the purchaser.

The company was fined £15,000 and ordered to pay £3,304 in court costs.

Helen Jones, Trafford Council’s deputy chief executive, said: “Customers requesting lamb from any butcher expect to receive exactly what they ask for and not cheaper cuts of meat.

"All consumers have the right to know they are getting what they paid for and we will continue to take action against anyone who tried to profit by deliberately misleading the public.

“Practices like this are unacceptable and cannot be tolerated.”

It is not illegal to sell a mixture of lamb and beef mince, provided that the label correctly describes the product.

Anyone who has concerns about food safety or food fraud at business in Trafford should contact Trafford Council’s Environmental Health Team on 0161 912 1377 or environmental.health@trafford.gov.uk.