A supervisor from Central's well-known Lin Heung Tea House has been fined HK$8,000 for passing off roast duck as the more expensive roast goose.
The man, who worked in the roast meat section of the Cantonese dim sum restaurant on Wellington Street, admitted contravening consumer protection laws, the Customs and Excise Department said in a statement. It did not name the supervisor.
The department said he pleaded guilty at Eastern Court yesterday to two counts of contravening the Trade Descriptions Ordinance by supplying roast meat falsely described as goose.
"Generally speaking, the retail price of roast goose is higher than that of roast duck," a department spokeswoman said. "Selling roast duck misrepresented as roast goose, even at a lower price, misleads consumers into thinking they can buy relatively expensive goods at a bargain price."
The department said officers began investigating in June after a complaint. They bought three boxes of rice with "roast goose" on two visits. The Government Laboratory confirmed the meat was duck.
Simon Wong Ka-wo, president of the Federation of Restaurants and Related Trades, said he was surprised the reputable Lin Heung would be involved in such an offence. He said the practice had been common in some restaurants for about 10 years, because goose cost 30 to 50 per cent more than duck.
"The two types of meat are different in texture and flavour," Wong said. "And the skin, when roasted, is completely different."
The department reminded businesses and staff to ensure products complied with the law.
It also asked the public to report any suspected violations on its 24-hour hotline 2545 6182.