Muslims in deadlock with Lancashire County Council over halal school meals (From Lancashire Telegraph)
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Muslims in deadlock with Lancashire County Council over halal school meals
THE Lancashire Council of Mosques is in deadlock with the county council over halal meat provision to schools.
Three months ago the organisation urged parents not to allow their children to eat school meals provided by Lancashire County Council which contain meat.
The warning came because of concerns over whether halal products were properly accredited by the authorities approved by the council.
Now the LCM has also called for an investigation into the halal food industry following reports that certified food with traces of pork DNA was supplied to Muslim prisoners.
The statement said: “The Muslim community of Lancashire is utterly shocked that the supplier of pork contaminated products is certified by the Halal Food Authority.
“We urge communities and schools across Lancashire to boycott HFA-accredited products until further investigation.”
LCC has stated it will continue to provide meat supplied by the HFA, one of three halal accreditation agencies.
Roger Eakhurst, assistant director of Lancashire county commercial services, said: "The only products we purchase through the HFA are halal chicken products which come from a supplier which only processes chickens on site, so we have no concerns about cross-contamination with pork.”
The Muslim authority said it felt vindicated about its previous concerns and may yet warn parents away from all school meals. Moulana Hanif, a member of the council’s halal sub-committee, said: “We only trust meat certified by the Halal Food Committee.”
Geoff Driver, leader of Lancashire County Council, said: “I am disappointed that the Lancashire Council of Mosques is asking parents not to allow their children to have halal meals provided in our school kitchens.
“I am prepared to discuss this, but the council of mosques must recognise that the ccouncil will not provide meat from animals that were not stunned before slaughter.”