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.
The main concern being that pork products have entered the halal supply chain even though it was certified by a halal certifer, as in the case of the prison service where Muslim inmates were served halal pies that were adulterated with pork DNA and were certified by Halal Food Authority (HFA), Clarification from all 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have been about the issue, She said: “All we have received is a letter from the school which states that they have withdrawn halal meat and poultry from the school meals menu with immediate effect, and that the decision has been made pending a review of suppliers ,“That, to me, is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.
ANSA at their meeting in the house of lords, pre warned Muslim consumer, that with Food Standard Agency’s refusal to adopt and follow their own guide note on halal food issues, the contamination of halal with haram will continue and force other councils to withdraw halal meals from Halal schools and colleges. This will have detrimental affect of denying Muslims children their basic legal rights to have halal school meals served to them and are being forced to have a vegetarian option.
Its time to build bridges and confidence in the British food industry, David Cameron the prime minster has an opportunity to build social cohesion by instructing the FSA to follow the guidelines on halal food issues.
This will in turn create further confidence and regeneration of the farming industry and boost employment as well as export opportunities and finally allowing Muslims children to have halal meals on the menu.