Youngsters fed undercooked chicken were in reception class

Sacred Heart Primary School, Springfield
Sacred Heart Primary School, Springfield

THE youngsters who were accidentally fed undercooked chicken at a Wigan school were all reception class pupils, it emerged today.

At least two youngsters were taken ill after eating the korma for lunch at Sacred Heart RC Primary last Thursday.

We were told that a teacher was cutting up a meal for one of the children when it was spotted that the meat wasn’t properly cooked and took the plate away. That was Thursday lunchtime and yet people only got to know about it the next day

Mother of a pupil

Environmental health officers have been in touch with families of those four and five-year-olds with suspected food poisoning asking for samples to confirm or disprove a link with the catering blunder.

An investigation by both Wigan Council and Public Health England has been launched into how around 17 of the school’s youngest pupils ended up with a curry batch from school caterer MetroFresh which, unlike those fed to other years, had not been cooked properly.

Parents have also complained that it took more than 24 hours to notify families affected, with an environmental health letter only being sent out on the Friday teatime.

One mother, who did not want to be identified, said: “We were told that a teacher was cutting up a meal for one of the children when it was spotted that the meat wasn’t properly cooked and took the plate away. That was Thursday lunchtime and yet people only got to know about it the next day.”

But headteacher Christine Mason said: “At Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School we are committed to keeping our parents informed with the correct information. This was an incident which required further investigation and we wanted to make sure we had accurate information to inform parents so that it would not cause unnecessary worry and give the correct guidance to those affected.”

The letter sent to pupils thought to have eaten the suspect meal warned that the onset of any food poisoning symptoms could take up to 10 days to appear.

Parents were urged to seek medical assistance if their child complained of feeling ill and GPs and Wigan Infirmary A&E have been made aware of the situation.

One girl was said to have been feeling ill before going home time on the Thursday and has been off school ever since, after more than one trip to the doctor’s.