TOWN hall chiefs have issued an apology after a pork product was discovered in chocolate mousse being served to Muslim youngsters as part of their school dinner.

Bolton Council’s school meals service which provides dinners to many of the borough’s school is now working closely with Bolton Council of Mosques and an investigation is under way.

The incident only involved Gaskell Community Primary School in Thomas Holden Street, Bolton, and as soon as the ingredient — pork gelatine — was spotted, the dessert was withdrawn.

Letters have been sent out to parents of children at the school apologising for the mistake and outlining what action will be taken.

A Bolton Council spokesman said: “We would like to sincerely apologise for any upset caused to parents and children by this mistake.

“This incident occurred at one school and we would like to stress that this was an isolated incident.

"A batch of frozen chocolate mousses was supplied by one of our food suppliers in place of the halal accredited frozen yoghurts that we had ordered.

"When it came to our notice that the mousses contained pork gelatine they were immediately withdrawn.

“We would also like to reassure the community that we are working closely with Bolton Council of Mosques and we are reviewing our own procedures to ensure that this does not happen again.

"We will ensure that any specific improvements that are identified are rolled out to all of our schools.”


Schools meals serve 96 primary and special schools in Bolton and approximately 15,000 meals per day. It also serves five high schools.

The award-winning service says it endeavours to purchase local, sustainable food from within the Lancashire region ensuring that “safety, standards, quality, environmental protection and animal welfare are upheld”.

Headteacher Emily Kirk said: “As a school we are all really upset by what has happened.

“Fortunately our staff reacted very quickly as soon as the issue was identified, which was early on into our lunchtime, and the product was instantly removed.

“We immediately informed all of our parents, who I would like to thank for their continued support and understanding.

"Bolton Council, who provide our school meals, acted very promptly and held a meeting to further reassure our parents, supported by Bolton Council of Mosques.

“I would like to stress that this has never happened here before.

“As a school we are extremely proud of our school meals which provide our children with a nutritionally balanced meal and this contributes significantly to their health and wellbeing.”

Bolton Council’s school meals recently won the "best partnership working" prize at the Association of Public Service Excellence awards for its work with Bolton Council of Mosques.