Over the past few months, I have had an increasing number of parents and children ask me to explore having halal food at Primrose Hill. Following a discussion with the Governing Body, we have agreed to consult with the school community about serving halal food. This would enable many of our children to have a meat option instead of the standard vegetarian option.
What is Halal food?
Halal means permitted, allowed, lawful or legal according to the Islamic dietary laws. Halal food means food and drinks which Muslims are allowed to have. Halal food includes:
Milk (from cows, sheep, camels and goats).
Plants, which are not harmful to people.
Fresh or naturally frozen vegetables.
Fresh or dried fruits.
Nuts such as peanuts, walnuts or cashew nuts.
Grains such as wheat, rice, rye, barley and oats.
Meat from animals such as cows, sheep, chickens, turkeys and ducks is also Halal. But it has to be slaughtered and processed in accordance with Islamic
What can Camden offer?
The Council can provide a high quality school meal service by using either non-Halal meat or Halal meat. The Halal service is offered in those schools where the Governors have agreed to it, after consulting with parents. Whilst meeting the specific needs of Muslim pupils, dishes cooked with Halal
meat would also be suitable for most non-Muslim children to eat. In addition to whichever option the Governing Body and the school community chooses, there is also a very good selection of vegetarian dishes available on a daily basis alongside the meat options. Choices for both the Halal and non-Halal
options would include stews, homemade burgers and many European, Asian or Middle Eastern dishes. At the back of this leaflet is a typical menu currently available in Camden schools for both options.
How will food be prepared?
- For the halal meals service, we will make sure that:
- Halal dishes are prepared and served according to Islamic rules.
- Our contractors are required to conform to those rules.
- Fat and oils are from vegetable sources only.
- All additives, preservatives, gelatine or gelling agents and colouring are Halal approved.
- Red meat and poultry have been slaughtered as Islamic law says.
- Our contractors buy meat from approved Halal suppliers
- All food used to prepare halal meals will be certified to Halal Food Authority standards and will follow the requirements of the Food Standards Authority.
What does this mean for Primrose Hill?
There are two options available. One is to offer a dual service where halal and non-halal food can be prepared using separate equipment. However this option has a cost impact as new additional facilities would need to be installed.
The second option is to serve only halal food for all alongside the usual vegetarian options.
Recently, our pop up snack bar has made use of halal meat which has been a positive step forward for the children.
We have some leaflets on Halal Food in Camden’s Schools in the main Reception area. Please also ask me any questions Often people are confused or misinformed about halal food and do not realise some restaurants or chains serve halal food as standard.
I will be sending out a text survey through google in due course allowing you to express your views, either in favour or against having a halal food service at Primrose Hill. There will also be space for you to make a comment if you wish.
It is important for us as a school to gather feedback on this so we can make an informed decision. The halal argument is always mixed, so it is important we know how the community feels before determining next steps and this will be considered by the Governing Body. Camden requires a response from 70% of the community before making any changes if it gets to that point, as there are costs involved for them and the school.
Thank you for your feedback.
Please indicate your responses below. If you wish to provide any further feedback, please feel free to email me via the email@example.com address.
I will be holding a ‘halal’ briefing on Friday 18th January at 9am in the Community Room if you have any questions.
Thank you, Robin