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Halal meat withdrawn after concerns raised

By Luton On Sunday  |  Posted: May 05, 2013

By LAUREN ARCHELL

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HALAL meat has been withdrawn from the menus of 18 schools in Luton following concerns about how it has been certified.

Luton Borough Council made the decision to stop selling the meat on Wednesday, April 24, following recent questions from the Local Council of Mosques and the Sunni Council of Mosques.

Clarification from the certification body is now being sought.

The authority has reassured parents that there is no issue relating to the source or safety of the meat and poultry that has been served previously.

Schools are now having to offer pupils vegetarian meals while the review is taking place.

A parent, who we agreed not to name, said that she was concerned by how vague the council have been about the issue.

She said: “All we have received is a letter from the school which states that they have withdrawn halal meat and poultry from the school meals menu with immediate effect, and that the decision has been made pending a review of suppliers.

“That, to me, is very worrying.

“As Muslims we have a halal diet and only took the school meal option as we were assured it was halal.

“Luton Borough Council need to come out and tell us what exactly has gone wrong and what they are going to do about it.”

A spokesman from Luton Borough Council said: “The issue focuses on the interpretation of how ‘halal’ meat is certified.

“Following recent questions from the Local Council of Mosques and the Sunni Council of Mosques, we are seeking clarification from the certification body.

“This is not an issue relating to the source, safety of the food or whether it has been contaminated in any way – we have close links with all our suppliers and regular testing occurs.

“As soon as our enquiries are complete we will be updating our schools.

“All schools are continuing to serve vegetarian options.

“We supply 18 local schools with halal meat. We don’t keep a record of how many students regularly eat halal meals.”

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