Halal meat could be put back on school menus.
It was withdrawn from all schools in the city in April as a precautionary measure after DNA tests revealed a lamb kebab contained more than 50 per cent beef.
Nine schools in the city were known to have served the kebabs. Since then, schools have been supplied with vegetarian and fish alternatives.
The matter is being investigated further by West Yorkshire Trading Standards, where the lamb kebab originated from.
Now, councillors are considering reinstating halal meat in September along with new specifications for purchasing and testing meat in schools.
Councillor Vi Dempster, assistant city mayor for schools, said: “As with the other meat products tested in Leicester and other parts of the country, there are no safety concerns, but we need to have confidence in the food we buy.
“We recognise issues over halal school meals have been distressing for families.
“We worked hard, taking immediate action as soon as we became aware of problems.”
Education bosses at Leicester City Council have drawn up a five-page specification document in consultation with the Federation of Muslim Organisations (FMO), Muslim Parents Association of Leicester (MPAL) Gujarat Hindu Association and the Federation of Hindu and Jain Communities Leicestershire.
The specifications include the preparation, processing and storage of halal meat under direct supervision of a practicing Muslim, competent in halal dietary laws. The council having the right to inspect and appraise slaughterhouses, processing plants and packaging facilities, and all halal products being packed in sealed polythene bags with the halal accreditation body’s label placed on each with a unique serial number to ensure full traceability.
Councillor Dempster said: “We have worked closely with faith groups to agree specifications on the food preparation and quality assurance standards needed.Future suppliers will need to meet these standards.”
The latest incident came a year after halal lamb burgers were withdrawn. Tests showed one contained 50 per cent pork.
Councillors discuss the issue at a scrutiny meeting on July 29, ahead of a final decision by Coun Dempster.
Originally published on www.leicestermercury.co.uk