AN Indian restaurant has been fined £2,500 after selling “lamb curry” which was actually made of beef.

Aroma Redefining of Zetland Street, Northallerton, admitted two charges of giving or displaying food that was not of the nature demanded.

Magistrates said the public took a very dim view of providers offering food which was not as described.

Chairman of the bench John Bacon said: "We find it surprising that the chef didn’t know the difference between lamb and beef.

"We find at best this was carelessness that was serious and a complete lack of due diligence, in this case it was beef parading as lamb."

Angela Lacy, prosecuting for North Yorkshire Trading Standards, said officers had purchased a curry from the restaurant described on the menu as lamb, but when analysis results came back it was found the meat element was totally beef and there was no lamb at all.

“Meat prices showed stewed beef was twenty five per cent less than lamb, this would indicate a monetary advantage to the business.

“The chef manager admitted their supplier may have been supplying them with beef for some time as the invoice only described the meat as stew or mince,” she added.

Solicitors acting on behalf of the restaurant wrote to the court saying that it was not an issue of public safety, there had been no complaints about the quality of the food and the restaurant had a good reputation.

They added: "They had no reason to believe they were being supplied with anything other than expected. They have now changed their supplier.”

The company was also ordered to pay £529 costs with £120 victims surcharge.