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School says sorry after Muslim children given ice-cream with pork gelatin

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Muslim children at schools in Sandwell were served ice-cream containing pork gelatin after a supplier sent out the wrong product.

The error was said to have affected a 'small number' of schools across the borough, including Lodge Primary School in West Bromwich, where a letter has been sent to parents apologising for what happened.

The mistake was only flagged up after some pupils at the school, which has a large Muslim intake, had eaten the ice-cream.

The dessert was a new addition to the school's menu, which was introduced last week. Lodge Primary School headteacher Lisa Gillam said the mistake was 'unacceptable' after being provided with the ice-cream by SIPS Education.

She said the supplier had sent the wrong product and she would be making a formal complaint as eating pork is forbidden as part of Islamic tradition.

The Oak Lane school has 430 pupils, with the number from ethnic minority backgrounds higher than average. Around 30 per cent are of Bangladeshi origin

Ms Gillam, in a letter sent out on Friday, said: "I was writing to apologise as today at lunchtime some of the children unfortunately consumed some ice-cream, which contained pork gelatine.

"New menus were sent out this week and the ice-cream was a new item.

"We have spoken to SIPS, who are in charge of the menus that the school are allocated, and they've informed us the supplier sent the wrong product in error.

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"I understand this is not an acceptable reason as we do not serve any products to children that contain products such as gelatin and SIPS is aware of this as the majority of our children have vegetarian food.

"I have informed our chair of governors, Nigel Edge, and will be making a formal complaint on behalf of all parents and children."

A spokesman for SIPS Education said: "SIPS Catering is aware of an occurrence whereby a small number of schools have been supplied with a pork-based gelatin product. A full and immediate investigation is in progress to resolve this matter."

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