Takeaways in sweat over curry scam
Takeaway owners have been "beefing up" their lamb curries as part of a money-saving scam, health inspectors have discovered.
Ten out of 14 dishes sampled by officers at three shops in Clackmannanshire contained cuts of beef, which is currently cheaper to buy than lamb.
The cost has been driven up by a drop in production - attributed to the harsh winter and strained economy.
Clackmannanshire Council said customers were being deliberately duped, with the spicy nature of curry dishes concealing the meat substitution.
John Gillespie, the council's head of community and regulatory services, said: "These takeaways are deliberately keeping their own costs low and getting an unfair advantage over the competition. Either that or they are just pocketing extra profit at the expense of their customers.
"Clackmannanshire prides itself on the standards achieved by its food businesses. However, it seems there are always a few who will let the others down. This is a serious issue where the public are being deliberately duped."
The local authority said beef is currently up to 20% cheaper than lamb in the wholesale market.
It urged takeaway operators to label curries correctly and be honest with their customers.
Further curry testing will be carried out in the coming weeks and any business found selling beef described as lamb will be reported to the procurator fiscal.
In cases where outlets have been sold what they believe to be lamb, officers will pursue their suppliers.