Pork found in Halal sausages

Pork DNA has been found in Halal chicken sausages that have been served in at least one primary school, Westminster Council has confirmed.

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Westminster statement over pork in halal school sausages

Westminster Council can this afternoon confirm that tests have established the presence of pork DNA in Halal chicken sausages that have been served in at least one Westminster primary school (that forms part of the school meals central contract).

Other tests revealed that lean minced beef supplied to us showed evidence of lamb and pork DNA.

The authority immediately ensured both items were removed from all school menus. And in a further step we have instructed our contractor to temporarily cease supplying meat until this issue is resolved..

Council finds pork in chicken sausages

Westminster Council discovered the problem after the authority decided to carry out its own proactive tests on food contamination in the wake of the horse meat scandal.

The council said officers took seven samples in total from three schools in the week beginning February 25, adding that the tests "were carried out on our own initiative and not carried out as the result of any specific concerns about school food standards".

The testing, which involved analysis for the presence of DNA from beef, lamb, pork, chicken, turkey, goat and horse, all proved negative for horse DNA.

"We are very concerned by the discovery that a contractor has fallen short of the high standards we demand. We also understand and regret the upset that may have been caused to parents and children alike. We are contacting schools, parents and faith group leaders and are offering to meet them to discuss their concerns. Westminster City Council took prompt action when this issue came to light and immediately ensured this product stopped being served in the schools in question.

We have asked our contractor Chartwells to no longer use the meat supplier involved. The discovery of pork in these sausages came about because of extra tests Westminster City Council decided to carry out. The results were all the more shocking given the assurances about the food we receive from our suppliers. I can assure parents we will keep testing our school meals."

– Andrew Christie, Director of Children's Services, Westminster City Council

Beef contained lamb and pork DNA

Other tests revealed that lean minced beef supplied to the council showed evidence of lamb and pork DNA.

Westminster Council said it immediately ensured both items were removed from all school menus and had instructed its contractor to temporarily cease supplying meat until the issue was resolved.

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