Raw fish served at Blackpool school

Parents were sent this letter on Friday
Parents were sent this letter on Friday
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Raw fish was served to infant age children at a Blackpool school.

Some parents at St Cuthbert’s Academy in Lightwood Avenue, South Shore received letters from the school on Friday following an error during the lunch service.

Stephen Tierney

Stephen Tierney

In the letter acting executive headteacher Sarah Smith asked parents to be alert to any signs of food poisoning.

The school has since confirmed no children were taken ill as a result of the incident.

Mrs Smith wrote: “I’m sorry to inform you that during today’s lunch time service raw fish was served to some children.

“We believe that it has been served to children in reception, year one and year two. This was due to an error in the kitchen.

“Once school staff were made aware of this they took swift action and the fish was removed from service.”

The school contacted the NHS once the error became apparent and provided parents with details they should look out for over the weekend.

Catering firm Aspens, which is responsible for school meals at St Cuthbert’s is understood to have lauched an investigation into the incident.

And Stephen Tierney, chief executive of the Blessed Edward Bamber Catholic Multi Academy Trust, which runs the school, said the firm had taken swift action to ensure there would be no repeat of the incident.

He praised staff at St Cuthbert’s for their response to the error.

Mr Tierney said: “We believe this was one very small batch of fish which may have been served under-cooked.

“Other portions which were served were found to be hot and fully cooked.

“As soon as staff became aware of the problem fish was taken off the dinner service. It was not served at all to children in key stage two.

“Staff then worked to identify which children did not eat fish, which children were served fish but did not eat it, which children ate fish which was cooked and which children may have been served one of the small number of portions affected.

“Staff acted with the greatest of caution, contacting the NHS for advice.

“Because the fish had been frozen we were advised that the risk of food poisioning was lower.

“However it was felt that the best course of action was to inform parents.”

Mr Tierney said Aspens, which provides food for all of the trust’s Blackpool schools was investigating.

He said: “It is down to them to figure out how this has happened and an investigation is under way.

“We have asked for them to send an executive chef into the school. They have to make sure this does not happen again and appropriate levels of training are in place.

“They also have to regain the confidence of parents in our school meals provision.”

The Gazette contacted Aspens for comment.