UK school serves non-halal food to Muslim pupils, apologises

Last Updated: Thu, Feb 21, 2013 14:26 hrs

London: A UK school in an "unintentional error" served non-halal food to Muslim students for which it has apologised and sacked a staffer.

Craig Jansen, a head teacher of the 1,400-pupil Moseley School in Birmingham, has apologised to parents after admitting that the school served non-Halal food to Muslim pupils.

A member of staff at Moseley School has been sacked following an investigation into the "unintentional error", the Birmingham Mail reported.

Council catering staff had wrongly dished up the non-Halal food to Muslim pupils on December 12 last year but details have only just come to light.

On Monday parents received a letter from Jansen, head of secondary school and sixth form, in which he apologised unreservedly for the incident.

The controversy comes as the country is still in the grip of the horse meat scandal, which last week saw Staffordshire County Council withdrawing beef from its school menus as a precaution.

One furious Muslim parent, whose son attends Moseley School, said of the Halal error, "I was shocked, they have failed the children".

"How did this meal get into the school system to be fed to the children? It's just shocking that dietary requirements haven't been met," the parent said.

Halal foods should not include pork or pork by-products, animals that were dead prior to slaughtering, blood or blood by-products or birds of prey.

An inquiry was launched on December 18, by the city council after concerns were raised by the school.

Council department Direct Services, which provides the meals for city schools, commissioned an investigation.

Shelia Walker, Head of Direct Services, wrote to Jansen last month to confirm the mistake.

"This was found to be due to an error and was unintentional, nevertheless, Direct Services has failed to ensure the integrity of Halal-only food at Moseley School," Walker said.

The report went on to say that a disciplinary hearing took place on February 11 and a member of staff had been removed from the school.

"We of course apologise for any concerns this has caused. We do have robust procedures in place and the caterer successfully provides thousands of meals daily to schools. A letter has been sent to all parents to alert them to what happened," a Birmingham City Council spokesperson said.

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