Councils stand by stance on school meal firm

The Boston Borough Council building.
The Boston Borough Council building.

Council bosses have stood by their decision to force a school meals firm to stop trading.

Boston borough and North Kesteven district councils stepped in yesterday to issue a Remedial Action Notice to Food 4 Thought under the advice of the Food Standards Agency.

They say the company is breaking the law by supplying meals without the ‘necessary approvals to carry out the activities for which its initial approval to do so was granted from its Boston and Sleaford operations’.

This is as a result of Food 4 Thought GB Ltd going into liquidation on November 4 2014.

A spokesman for both local authorities said: “North Kesteven and Boston councils would like to confirm that Food 4 Thought GB Ltd is not currently approved to trade as a business.

“Food 4 Thought GB Ltd is currently trading illegally and supplying meals to children. Whether those meals are hot or cold is irrelevant, it is in the way the product supplied is prepared where any meat, fish or dairy products are used – and law is very clear on that.

“In these extraordinary circumstances the Food Standards Agency’s guidance is clear that the role of the local authority is that we must to take action to stop them - and indeed the FSA advised us to do this as a matter of urgency yesterday (17th November 2014).”

A spokesman from the Food Standards Agency issued a formal statement on the action taken by both local authorities yesterday (17th November), saying: “Any business supplying food to schools should have the necessary approval from the local authority to ensure food is safe. The FSA would support local authorities taking action where they have concerns about the food safety management arrangements in place, as they seem to in this case. North Kesteven District Council did get in touch with the FSA about this issue and the action they are taking is in line with our guidance.”

Both councils say they are currently trying to work with the business to ensure a ‘speedy resolution’ in this matter.

Boston Borough Council says it has no valid application for any further approvals for production of hot school meals.

Borough environmental health officers are in contact with Food 4 Thought director Caroline Clark in order that necessary documentation can be completed so that sandwiches and salads using bought in pre-processed ingredients can be provided to schools from today.

A spokesman added: “This action has been taken for the safety of children.”