The River launched an investigation into the meat supplies at Kingston University.
Ollie Gilman & Kristina Boudylina
Canteens and food stores at KU are free of horsemeat and dodgy halal products, a canteen chef has pledged – despite a link to a company exposed as making beef halal pastries containing pork.
The River investigated the authenticity of KU’s meat, in the wake of the horsemeat scandal causing concern across the country.
Tony Malins, executive chef of Penrhyn Road’s canteen, said: “We are very scrupulous with our suppliers. All of our supplies are checked so we know they are 100 per cent safe.”
Pork strictly forbidden in Islamic law
Kingston sources its frozen meat from food distributor 3663, who have had some of their products supplied by the Irish company, McColgan Quality Foods.
McColgan’s beef halal pastries contained traces of pork and were supplied to prisons despite the consumption of pork being strictly forbidden under Islamic law.
3663 has since cancelled all orders with McColgan and apologised, saying: “The small number of halal savoury beef pastry products that have been withdrawn from supply were only ever distributed to custodial establishments.”
“We take our suppliers word”
Kingston University was never supplied with McColgan’s foods, with West Cornwall Pasty Company providing pastry products for Kingston University’s canteens.
“We don’t use McColgan. We take our supplier’s word that all our food is ok and under constant checks,” said Mr Malins. “We hope 3663 check their products because they have quality control people.
“Whenever there’s a scare, we are informed almost immediately – within 24 hours for sure. We get a guarantee from head office to ensure that all products are safe.”
Elior UK, the catering company in charge of the University’s food, told The River: “We would like to reassure customers that Elior UK takes the security of its food chain and the transparency of ingredients extremely seriously.
“The vast majority of our meat is fresh meat from reputable UK butchers.”
Islamic society reassures Muslim students
The University’s fresh meat is supplied by Nigel Fredericks which is based in northwest London.
A spokesman for Nigel Fredericks maintained that all of their meat is sourced in the UK and is Red Tractor Assured, which means that it is heavily inspected to ensure that it is of a good standard.
Islamic Society spokesman Ibrahim Gdebe said: “It is of course reassuring for Muslim students on campus to know that there are no issues concerning halal food served here and it’s a testament to the University that Muslims dietary requirements are catered for.”