Pork is being banned from school dinners even where the majority of parents have no religious objection to it.
Healthy eating rules on school meals mean sausages can only be served once a fortnight
Head teachers are deciding for “cultural” and “religious” reasons to drop traditional sausages and ham from children’s lunches.
One council has issued “best practice” advice to all schools in its area to “ban all pork products in order to cater for the needs of staff and pupils who are not permitted contact with these for religious reasons”.
The guidance, issued in Haringey, north London, does not specify what proportion of a school’s intake should object to the meat – which is not eaten by devout Muslims or Jews – before it is dropped.
The policy was criticised last night by MPs and farmers’ leaders, who accused head teachers of depriving other children of a choice and pointed out that all schools already offer vegetarian options.
Pabulum, a school caterer in south-east England, said that around 20 of the 48 primary schools it supplied chose only non-pork lunches.