Restaurant ordered to pay out £8,900 over false halal meat claim

The Real China, at Star City .

A Birmingham restaurant has been ordered to fork out £8,910 in fines and costs after falsely claiming all the meat it served was halal.

There was no evidence The Real China, at Star City, was even selling halal meat when it was inspected by Trading Standards, a court heard.

It claimed all its meat was halal at a time when Muslims were celebrating Eid, the court was told. The occasion marks the end of Ramadan and means the festival of the breaking of the fast.

The Real China has ceased trading and has become Littleton Food Ltd. However, it is still known by its original name and a business remains open at the premises.

Former Real China director Fan Zhang.
Former Real China director Fan Zhang.

Fan Zhang, aged 33, from London, the previous director of The Real China, pleaded guilty to two offences. Littleton Food also pleaded guilty to two offences.

The restaurant’s poster read: “The Real China Birmingham produces halal dishes for its customers. All meat supplied is halal and is prepared separately under strict conditions.

“The Real China Birmingham appoint dedicated chefs to cater to halal requirements.”

However food was not prepared under strict conditions and the restaurant did not have any dedicated chefs.

The defendants appeared at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court recently.

Zhang was fined £1,000 each for displaying a poster and certificate containing false information. Littleton Food was fined £1,250 each for displaying a poster and Halal menu which contained false information.

Coun Barbara Dring, Birmingham City Council’s chairwoman of the Licensing and Public Protection Committee, said: “It is essential that food businesses ensure food is as described. In this instance the restaurant misled customers into believing all of the meat they supplied was halal when it was not.

“Trading Standards takes such breaches of legislation extremely seriously, and will take appropriate enforcement action to ensure customers are not duped.”

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