Firm cleared of contamination

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A Doncaster food firm is considering legal action after being cleared of supplying a halal lamb burger containing pork to a school.

The Food Standards Agency announced yesterday that no action is needed against Paragon Quality Foods, based at Westmoor Park, Armthorpe.

Earlier this month Leicester City Council said there was pork DNA in a sample lamb burger made by the company but extensive testing of the company’s products has shown no traces of meat other than those labelled.

A DNA expert said the original sample could have been cross-contaminated.

The city council said the sample burger was part of stock held in its schools.

Paragon’s managing director Metin Pekin, who is from a Muslim family, said they were considering taking legal action against Leicester City Council.

He said: “Our good reputation has been unfairly damaged and we trust that it will now be fully restored.

“The finding was not based on a formal sample in which samples are retained for further independent analysis.”

Eastern Shires Purchasing Organisation, which tested the original burger on behalf of Leicester City Council, declined to comment.

Because the burgers were made in Doncaster, the FSA asked Doncaster Council to investigate if any contamination had occurred.

The investigation included tests on products including came from the factory.

Peter Dale, Doncaster Council’s director of regeneration and environment, said: “We have carried out an extensive programme of formal sampling and so far no traces of meat other than those labelled have been detected.”

An FSA spokesperson said: “We have received the report from Doncaster and are satisfied that there are appropriate controls in place and no further action needs to be taken.”

Leicester City Council has commissioned its own tests on the burgers - removed from schools rather than the factory.