UK: Lancashire halal meat query goes to the top

By Bill Jacobs, Lancashire Telegraph

1 MARCH 2013

imgresTHE Lancashire Council of Mosques has written to the country’s food boss Owen Paterson demanding he reveal the four county schools supplied with ‘halal’ beefburgers containing horsemeat.

Chairman Salim Mulla said the body, representing Lancashire’s Muslims, had been forced to write direct to the Secretary of State for environment, food and rural affairs because of local politicians’ refusal to come clean about which secondaries received the contaminated products last month.

He said: “The county council has been very unhelpful and unco-operative, so we have had no choice but to go to the top.”

Ismaeel Nakhuda, LCMgeneral manager, tells Mr Paterson: “Lancashire County Council on Monday revealed that halal beef burgers made from horsemeat were served to Muslim children in four schools. As a result, we have been inundated with calls from our affiliates and members of the public.

“Lancashire County Council has not been forthcoming in telling the public the following: which schools served these burgers; who the manufacturer is; and which halal body accredited the manufacturer/burger. Could you share any information you have on this? That would be much appreciated. I feel it is important for the LCC to share all information it has and put the public at ease.

Mr Mulla said: “We think parents, mosques and the public have a right to know which schools received these burgers.”

A county spokesman said: “All of the affected schools were informed as soon as possible and quickly informed parents. As a supplier of meals to the schools, it would not be appropriate to issue this information without each school’s consent.”

Earlier last month, 47 Lancashire primaries received cottage pies containing horse DNA.

Halal products were supplied by KQF of George West Street, Blackburn, until October when four new companies took over.

28 FEBRUARY 2013

County council refuses to identify Lancashire schools that received horsemeat

LANCASHIRE County Council bosses were last night still refusing to identify the 51 schools which received beef products, including halal beefburgers and cottage pies, containing horsemeat.

The Lancashire Council of Mosques demanded they provide the information to the public and said its intervention had stopped the scandal of contaminated “halal” products being worse.

Hanif Daudhwala, a halal expert at the LCM, said: “The county council should identify the four secondary schools which got contaminated “halal” burgers and the 47 primaries which got similar cottage pies.

“They have let down not just Muslim parents but all parents.

“Things could have been far worse but for the intervention of the LCM which contacted all the 68 schools being supplied by the county with supposedly Halal foods expressing our concerns. “Most chose a vegetarian diet for Muslims.”

A county spokesman said: “As a supplier of meals to the schools, it would not be appropriate to issue this information without each school’s consent but individual schools are obviously free to confirmtheir involvement.”

Tesco boss Philip Clarke has promised farmers to use more British meat in his supermarket’s products.