Frozen halal lamb burgers test positive for pork in Leicester

  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save

Frozen halal lamb burgers have been withdrawn from schools in Leicester after a batch tested positive for pork DNA.

Leicester City Council said a sample taken from a batch of frozen lamb burgers produced in January by Doncaster-based Paragon Quality Foods had tested positive for pork DNA. A spokeswoman was not immediately able to say how much pork DNA was found but said it was “more than a trace”. Further results were expected next week, she added.

Paragon has had a positive release system in place since 1 March, only releasing products once they have tested negative for pork, but the council said it had nevertheless decided to take the burgers off school menus as a precaution and would not be buying further products from Paragon while investigations were pending.

“We have made it clear to our suppliers that this is totally unacceptable, and we are taking urgent legal advice about the next steps,” said Trevor Pringle, the city council’s director of young people’s services.

The council has written to the parents of children at the schools affected by the withdrawal, which took place on 19 April, and said it was working with the Federation of Muslim Organisations (FMO) as part of its investigations.

Suleman Nagdi of the FMO said Muslims would be “extremely shocked and distressed” to hear pork DNA had been found in halal products. “The FMO is working closely with the local authority and calling on them to take legal action in respect of this contamination and would urge the local authority to instigate criminal proceedings against the company involved under the Food Safety Act,” he added.

The lamb burger was the only halal product supplied to Leicester schools by Paragon. Leicester City Council said all its other halal products used in schools had tested negative for pork DNA.

In February this year, pork DNA was found in supposedly halal pasties supplied to prisons by McColgan’s Quality Foods via 3663.

Paragon Quality Foods said it was a pork-free site and had never knowingly bought or handled pork. Previous samples of its products taken unannounced by Doncaster Borough Council had come back clear, it added. “We have carried out a full traceability of the product in question and have provided this information to the relevant enforcement authorities.”

Have your say

These comments have not been moderated.

You are encouraged to participate with comments that are relevant to our news stories. You should not post comments that are abusive, threatening, defamatory, misleading or invasive of privacy. For the full terms and conditions for commenting see clause 7 of our Terms and Conditions ‘Participating in Online Communities’. These terms may be updated from time to time, so please read them before posting a comment.

Any comment that violates these terms may be removed in its entirety as we do not edit comments.

If you wish to complain about a comment please use the “report this comment” facility or email groceremails@wrbm.com

Mandatory
Mandatory
Mandatory
Mandatory
  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save
Sign in

Newsletter Sign-up

Free

I wish to receive the following newsletters:

For Members

Become a Gold Member to receive these newsletters:

Become a Finance Member to receive these newsletters:

Become a member of The Grocer

DIRECTORY

The+Grocer+Directory

CLICK HERE to search for the products, services and companies you need in the definitive guide to the UK food and drink industry.

FOLLOW THE GROCER

The Grocer's commentators and opinion makers