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:
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:
Westminster City Council has named the school, where Halal chicken sausages were found to contain pork DNA, as St Mary's Bryanston Square, a Church of England school in west London.
Nigel J Tottman, the managing director of butchers Nigel Fredericks, said it had sourced the sausages from Brook Farm Sausages. From Nigel Fredericks, the sausages were supplied to catering company Chartwells and then the school.
"We have used Brook Farm Sausages for many years, and can only think that this was an isolated incident involving some element of human error," Mr Tottman said.
"We are currently investigating the cause of this unfortunate and regrettable incident as a matter of utmost priority, together with Compass UK and Brook Farm Sausages.
"We are very sorry that we have had a product come through our supply chain that has failed to meet the high standards we and our customers expect, and extend our apologies to any person who has potentially eaten this product."
A statement issued by the East London Mosque and London Muslim Centre welcomes West Minster City Council "swift response" following the discovery of pork DNA in Halal sausages, but says it is concerned there will now be issues of trust between Muslim parents and schools.
It is strictly prohibited for Muslims to eat pork or meat that has not been slaughtered in accordance with their faith and thus the discovery of pork meat in Halal sausages will be hard to ‘stomach’ for the parents of the children that have been exposed to this contaminated meat. There will be serious issues of concern and distrust between Muslim parents and the schools now, and we hope a resolution can be sought quickly and effectively as possible.
The issue only came to light after the authority decided to carry out its own proactive tests on food contamination in the wake of the horse meat scandal. WCC officers took seven samples in total from three schools in the week beginning 25th February. These 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 involved analysis for the presence of DNA from beef, lamb, pork, chicken, turkey, goat and horse.
All tests proved negative for horse DNA. However, a preliminary report was received on Friday 8th March which suggested pig DNA could be present in the Halal chicken sausages range. The result was found in one sample taken at a Westminster primary school.
A further round of tests today confirmed the preliminary findings.