Halal food provided to nineteen other schools and nurseries in Westminster is being tested for traces of pork.
It comes after the council revealed that Halal chicken sausages at one school contained pig DNA but the supplier says they believe it was an isolated incident.
Ria Chatterjee reports.
Two of the firms that were involved in supplying Halal chicken sausages that contained pork DNA to a Westminster primary school have said they believe it was an "isolated incident". Westminster Council discovered the traces after carrying out tests on school food. Ria Chatterjee reports.
The company which supplied Halal meat to schools in Westminster, which have now been found to contain traces of pork, has made the following statement:
Butcher Nigel Fredericks, the company which supplied Halal meat to schools in Westminster, has made the following statement following the discovery of traces of pork in chicken sausages:
Test results show pork was present in a sample of halal chicken sausages which may have been supplied to 19 schools and nurseries. A further sample of non-halal lean mince beef shows that pork and lamb was present, potentially affecting 17 schools and nurseries
Schools serving halal chicken sausages:
- All Souls
- Churchill Gardens
- College Park
- Edward Wilson
- George Eliot
- Millbank Academy
- Paddington Green
- Queen's Park
- St Augustine's CE
- St Barnbas CE
- St Peters CE
- Mary Paterson Nursery
- Portman Childhood Centre
Schools serving halal chicken sausages and non halal lean mince beef:
- St. Mary’s Bryanston Square
Schools serving non halal lean mince beef:
- Barrow Hill
- Burdett Coutts
- Hampden Gurney
- Our Lady of Dolours
- QE II
- St Clement Danes
- St Edwards
- St Gabriel’s
- St George’s
- St James & St Michael’s school
- St James & St Michael’s nursery
- St Joseph’s
- St Mary Magdalene
- St Matthews
- St Vincent de Paul
- Westminster Cathedral
- Tachbrook Nursery
Any parents worried about their children's school food is asked to call Westminster City Council's advice line, which is open from 8am today.
The number is 020 7745 6401
Any parents worried about their children's school food is asked to call Westminster City Council's advice line, which is open from 8am tomorrow.
The number is 020 7745 6401
A Defra spokesman said: "It is totally unacceptable if food labelled as Halal has been found to contain pork.
"Today Defra, the FSA and the Department for Communities and Local Government met with organisations involved in Halal and Kosher food to discuss labelling and certification.
"Food manufacturers and suppliers have a responsibility to make sure that the food they serve is what they say it is. The FSA is working with Westminster City Council to establish what happened."
Official statement from the East London Mosque & London Muslim Centre:
"The East London Mosque and London Muslim Centre isdeeply concerned about the discovery of pork DNA in ‘Halal’ school meals servedto Muslim primary school children in central London.
Whilst we welcome Westminster City Council’s swift response over this matter, this latest revelation over contaminated food supply chains will be hard for parents to ‘stomach’.
As consumption of pork or meat that has not been slaughtered in accordance with their faith is strictly prohibited, there will be serious issues of concern and mistrust between Muslim parents and schools across London. We hope a resolution can be sought quickly and effectively as possible.
Any subsequent investigation will need to rigorous and transparent to restore the confidence of the Muslim community. Any acts of criminality and negligence by its contractor will have to be answered.
We trust the Food Standards Agency (FSA) will make their own enquiries and take appropriate action, especially if a supplier has been found to be deliberately supplying pork meat but labeling it as chicken meat.
The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) has added: "This discovery underscores the dire need in this country to establish agreed standards, processes and regulations amongst our halal meat suppliers. We need a collective approach to ensure these expectations are realised."
An authentically credited Halal meat supplier registered with the ‘Halal Monitoring Committee’ should be used to source meat and supplies."