Restaurant owner fined for fake spirits

Following an investigation by Central Bedfordshire Council’s Trading Standards team a restaurant in Leighton Buzzard has been fined for selling substituted alcohol.

Officers carried out a routine inspection of Moja Indian Restaurant in Mill Road, Leighton Buzzard, in September 2009 and discovered that a bottle of Smirnoff Red Label Vodka had been filled with a cheaper brand.

Formal samples were taken and sent to the Public Analyst for testing and the restaurant owner Guysh Uddin subsequently found himself in court facing charges under the Food Safety Act 1990 for falsely describing a food.

On Friday 7 January, Mr Uddin, pleaded guilty to the offence at Luton and South Bedfordshire Magistrates Court and was fined a total of £600 and was also ordered to pay prosecution costs amounting to £2517.

Mr Uddin told the Court that he had suspected a former employee was taking some spirits and covering their tracks by topping up the bottle with another brand.

Cllr David McVicar, Portfolio Holder for Safer Communities and Healthier Lifestyles at Central Bedfordshire Council said: "Consumers are entitled to expect that the products they purchase are genuine and have not been substituted with a different brand. When paying members of the public are deceived, it is only right and proper for the matter to be brought before the courts.

"Our Trading Standards team continually monitors the market place to ensure that the consumer and honest traders' interests are duly protected and I am satisfied that the right action has been taken in this case.

"I hope this case serves as a warning that our officers are carrying out inspections of licensed premises and we will use the full force of the law to secure a conviction."

If anyone should suspect a product they have purchased is not genuine or has any information of non-genuine products being sold or supplied, then you should contact Central Bedfordshire Council’s Trading Standards team on 0300 300 8136 or email trading.standards@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk

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