Derby trio fined over kebab filling which was 'mainly fat with flecks of meat'
THREE Derby taxi drivers operated a kebab factory which used suspect meat and could have prompted a health alert.
Environmental health officers uncovered the illegal operation in a Long Eaton industrial unit and seized nearly 11 tonnes of meat.
The premises had no approval from Erewash Borough Council and the meat did not carry identification marks to trace suppliers.
Howard Shaw, prosecuting, told Southern Derbyshire magistrates there was no evidence it could have caused disease and that it was mostly made up of fat from waste processing.
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But he continued: "This was an attempt to maximise profit with the minimum of expenditure. It was mainly fat with flecks of meat.
"We can't say whether pathogens were present or whether there was an actual danger to public health. There was a risk – that is as high as it gets."
Kebab deliveries were made to Derby and Burton but Mr Shaw said: "The operation was nipped in the bud by the council."
Deputy District Judge Jim Tindal told the trio: "Your kebabs were particularly unhealthy. They were primarily fat and at least carried a risk to health."
Ilram Ul-Haq, 38, of Duncan Road, Derby, and Muhammed Tariq, also 38, now of Nottingham, were fined £1,500 each. Fazel Karim, 33, of Clarence Road, Derby, was also fined £1,500.
Ul-Haq and Karim must pay £500 prosecution costs. Tariq must pay £750 costs.
All admitted three breaches of food hygiene regulations.
They admitted operating the business without approval between July 1 and September 29 last year.
They also pleaded guilty to putting animal products on the market without health or identification marks and from an unapproved premises.
Andrew Brammer, for dad-of-four Karim, said he co-operated with the council investigation.
"He was essentially bluffed into being part of that business because he was told it had been approved," said Mr Brammer.
Karim invested £4,000 into the firm for rent. That money has now been lost.
"This is a business that in a normal way, some would have aspirations to run but he didn't go about it in the correct way," added Mr Brammer.
Dad-of-three Ul-Haq used to work in a food factory and a restaurant. He said: "I did try to start this business – my mistake. I am sorry."
Tariq said he used to run a meat shop and claimed he initially contacted the council, asking about operating the business.