In a press release issued today the The Lancashire Council of Mosques (LCM) has sent out an urgent call to all Muslims of Lancashire not to touch school meals provided by The Lancashire County Council (LCC)
The LCM Halal Sub Group has called for an immediate boycott of all meals at schools that have not been certified by themselves.
The press release says: ‘In an effort to develop a solution that would secure the confidence of the widest range of stakeholders, the LCM provided a universally-accepted criteria of Halal to the LCC. This clearly outlines that the meat and chicken must be certified by a certifying body which has inspectors present at all plants from where the supplies are received. If this criteria had been adopted by the LCC, then no horsemeat would have been found in their Halal burgers.’
Halal foods are foods that Muslims are allowed to eat under Islamic dietary guidelines. The criteria specify both what foods are allowed, and how the food must be prepared.
The press statement continues: ‘The responsibility for this distressing and unacceptable situation lies solely with the LCC. It is our view that the LCC have critically undermined the faith that thousands of Muslim families have in the food that is served in schools across Lancashire. The LCM hereby calls upon all Muslim families in Lancashire to boycott meals completely at all schools where the LCC are providing catering, including vegetarian and fish options.’
The LCM advises school children to take packed lunches or return home for their meal.
In recent food tests undertaken by the county council at its Preston laboratory horse DNA was found in some products. One of the tests reported by the Food Standards Agency was the discovery of horsemeat in a Halal beefburger served to schools in Lancashire.
The LCC state affected schools have been made aware of the test results and, as a precaution, they have suspended a halal lamb burger, manufactured on the same premises as the beefburger, from its menus.
Although according to the LCM it seems only schools in Blackburn have been certified by the Halal Monitoring Committee this will also affect all schools in Preston
What do you think about the boycott? What is you opinion on the horsemeat scandal? Let us know in the comments below