ASK Italian restaurant fined £40,000 for selling lobster dish made of white ...

A High Street restaurant chain has been fined £40,000 for misleading customers by selling a lobster dish that was made largely of white fish.

ASK Italian, which boasts 112 restaurants across the UK, described its £14.95 Aragosta e Gamberoni dish as 'lobster and king prawns in a creamy tomato sauce with a hint of chilli'.

But a Trading Standards inspection revealed the dish contains just 70p worth of lobster, which only accounted for 35 per cent of the dish. 

Inspectors found 34 per cent of the meal was white fish often used to make crab sticks and styled to look and taste like lobster. 

Azzuri Restaurants Limited, which trades as ASK Italian, was fined £40,000 after admitting misleadingly describing food at Swansea Magistrates Court. 

ASK Italian, which boasts 112 restaurants across the UK, described its £14.95 Aragosta e Gamberoni dish as 'lobster and king prawns in a creamy tomato sauce with a hint of chilli'

ASK Italian, which boasts 112 restaurants across the UK, described its £14.95 Aragosta e Gamberoni dish as 'lobster and king prawns in a creamy tomato sauce with a hint of chilli'

Trading Standards uncovered the 'lobster' used in the dish was a frozen mix of 'real lobster and lobster-flavoured seafood' made with surimi', which is used to make crab sticks

The 'frozen lobster sensations' used in the dish contained largely white fish called surimi which is used to make crab sticks

Trading Standards uncovered the 'lobster' used in the dish was a frozen mix of 'real lobster and lobster-flavoured seafood' made with surimi', which is used to make crab sticks 

The court heard the company had made £3million from selling the dish since it was put on the menu in 2014. 

The charge covered the period between 1 December 2016 and 20 March 2019 when Swansea Trading Standards alerted ASK and it was no longer made available.    

The lack of lobster in the dish, which only cost £2.84 but was the most expensive on the menu, was spotted by a Swansea Council trading standards officer during a routine visit. 

Lee Reynolds, prosecuting, said the council officer chose Aragosta e Gamberoni - which was described on the menu as 'lobster and king prawns in a creamy tomato sauce with a hint of chilli'.

Mr Reynolds said: 'The officer was shown the raw ingredients but to her it did not look like or resemble lobster meat so she asked to see the original packaging.

'When the inspector was shown the

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