Doncaster meat contamination

Halal lamb burgers manufactured in Doncaster have been removed from schools in Leicester after tests revealed pork in a sample burger.

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Doncaster burger manufacturers challenge findings

The Doncaster-based makers of halal lamb burgers withdrawn from schools after a sample was said to contain pork have challenged the findings of the test.

Leicester City Council ordered the move last week following DNA tests on a batch of frozen burgers manufactured by Paragon Quality Foods Limited.

The company said that the finding was not based on a formal controlled sample in which samples are retained for further independent analysis.

We have since obtained the DNA data upon which this report was based and sent it to an independent specialist.

Based on the conclusion of this specialist, Paragon is satisfied and pleased to announce that the DNA data in actual fact show that the burger should have been declared as pork free.

Furthermore following this allegation Leicester City Council has conducted nine formal tests on various batches of halal lamb burgers manufactured by us between October 2012 and March 2013.

I am pleased to announce that all of the results confirm that Paragon Halal Lamb burgers were clear of pork.

– Managing director Metin Pekin

We understand that since March 1 this year, the product supplier, Paragon Quality Foods Limited, has only been releasing product to customers after obtaining negative DNA results for pork.

However, as a precautionary measure we have removed all of the burgers we had in stock from this supplier whilst further investigation is carried out, and we will not be purchasing any further products from this supplier.

We have made it clear to our suppliers that this is totally unacceptable, and we are taking urgent legal advice about the next steps.

– Trevor Pringle, the council's director of young people's services

All other halal products used in the council's kitchens - including 24 city schools - are supplied by another company, the council said last week. They have been DNA-tested and found to be compliant, it added.

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