A Selsey mum has been left ‘distraught’ after her pescatarian son was fed meat in his school dinners.
Kirstie Hayler, of Beach Road, enrolls her youngest son at Seal Primary, where he receives lunches supplied by catering company Chartwells.
However, the mum-of-two has said her ‘trust has been lost’ after six-year-old Kit was fed meat for the third time.
Kirstie said: “Kit was fed meat twice when he was in reception, even though Chartwells has known he is pescatarian since he joined the school.
“The school assured me that measures were being put in place to ensure that this would never happen again.”
However, Kirstie said that earlier this month Kit was given a meat burger by a Chartwells member of staff.
She said: “Kit said that he didn’t see any signage and so to be sure that the meal was vegetarian he asked the lady serving the meals.
“She affirmed that yes, it was made from quorn. The school mid-day meal supervisor has confirmed that she overheard this.”
Kirstie added that Kit was off school ‘seriously ill’ the following day, which she believes is as a result of eating meat.
“This incompetence could lead to a public health issue or even death – there is a child at Seal Primary Academy with life threatening nut allergies,” she said.
When asked how he felt about eating meat, Kit said: “I feel angry because they told a lie to me.”
Kirstie said that she will now make Kit packed lunches because she believes Chartwells is ‘incapable of delivering a vegetarian meal’.
She added that she does not hold Seal Primary at fault for Kit being fed meat.
“I have bought my children up to be pescatarians and have always been very vigilant about this,” Kirstie said.
“My hope for them was that when they reach adulthood, if they continued with this dietary choice, they would be able to say that they had never eaten meat and feel good about the purity of this.
“Chartwells have robbed Kit of this, and that is a disgrace.”
“My children currently share my ethics, and Kit is distraught that he has eaten meat.
“I feel sadness beyond my ability to express, Chartwells will never be able to make right what they did.”
A spokesperson for Chartwells said: “We have strict policies and procedures in place when it comes to meeting dietary requirements and we are in contact with the parents to apologise for this particular incident.
“We are currently conducting a full investigation and will take necessary steps required at the end of this process.”
Executive headteacher of Seal Primary Academy, James Munt, said: “Our main aim is to ensure our school is an extension of the caring environment that children receive from their parents and carers at home.
“We work hard to ensure children’s individual needs are met and catered for – both in and outside the classroom.
“As such, we were equally disappointed that there was a lapse in service by an external provider operating on our site.”
Mr Munt added: “We are pleased that it has been fully acknowledged by the external provider that the school was not at fault in any way.”