Parents of Muslim pupils at a Birmingham primary school were ‘outraged’ after their children were given a raspberry mousse containing ‘pork’ at school which is considered forbidden or haram for Muslims.
Children in years one, two, and three were given raspberry ripple mousse that contained the gelatin.
Later, the staff realized and quickly took it off the menu before the older children had their lunch sitting.
The school sent an apology letter to parents saying ‘the error is totally unacceptable’. Yet, Muslim parents were frustrated their kids consumed pork.
“I am a parent of a child in Year 1, and I’m honestly appalled by the lack of transparency and professionalism regarding this matter,” Fatima, a Muslim parent, told ITV News.
“Many kids, as well as my own, have eaten pork gelatin. A matter of this degree should be dealt with swiftly and urgently, not within two weeks as the school has told parents.”
Shazia, another parent, said the issue raises concerns about the school’s handling of halal food in general.
“I am a parent of a Year 6 child and I am very grateful that the pork gelatin mousse was stopped being given out half way otherwise the remaining school years would have consumed it too,” she said.
“But this has upset and angered all Muslim parents of the school and has raised many questions on the dealing of halal food provided alongside food allergies and the dietary requirements of the children too.”
A spokesperson for Greet Primary School apologized for the mistake, saying they immediately removed the dessert and replaced it with a halal alternative.
“We share our community’s frustration and disappointment that such a mistake was made, and have launched an investigation to understand how it occurred,” he said.
“As part of this, we are looking at whether this was an ordering, supply or delivery issue, and will seek to understand if there is anything more we can do to stop such an event happening again in the future.”
The concept of halal — meaning permissible in Arabic — has traditionally been applied to food.
Muslims do not eat pork and consider pigs and their meat filthy and unhealthy to eat.