CAIRO – As the country still grapples with horsemeat scandal, a British school has apologized for serving non-halal food to Muslim students following an investigation on the school’s catering.
“I was shocked - they have failed the children,” a Muslim parent, whose son attends Moseley School, told Birmingham Mail.
“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.”
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.
An inquiry was launched on December 18 by the city council after concerns wereraised by the school.
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 issue came to light last Monday when parents a letter from Craig Jansen, head of secondary school and sixth form, in which he apologized unreservedly for the incident.
Being responsible for the 1,400-pupil Moseley School in Birmingham, Jansen apologized to parents after admitting that the school served non-Halal food to Muslim pupils.
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 apologize for any concerns this has caused," a Birmingham City Council spokesperson said.
“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.”
Despite apologies, Muslim parents were still concerned about food offered to their children at school, preferring packed lunches.
“We don’t know what was actually served. Non-Halal is a very ambiguous term,” the parent, whose son is now on packed lunches, added.
“They have not explained what it means but we doubt we are going to get answers.”
The incident was made public after a spokeswoman for the Food Standards Agency said the halal meat supplied to prisons involved traces of pork.
The discovery also 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.
Britain is home to a sizable Muslim minority, estimated at nearly 2.5 million.
The concept of halal, -- meaning permissible in Arabic -- has traditionally been applied to food.
Muslims should only eat meat from livestock slaughtered by a sharp knife from their necks, and the name of Allah, the Arabic word for God, must be mentioned.
Muslims do not eat pork and consider pigs and their meat filthy and unhealthy to eat.
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