PUPILS at Wyre Forest schools are being unknowingly fed halal poultry, it was revealed this week.

At least one of the district's three main caterers of school lunches admitted that some of its chicken products come from halal suppliers.

Halal killing refers to the method of ceremonial slaughter of animals acceptable to Moslems and involves the cutting of the animal's neck - without them first being stunned - and the draining of the blood prior to eating.

Class Catering, which refused to name the schools it serves in Wyre Forest, acknowledged that some of its recipes, such as chicken wraps, contained halal meat.

Managing director Bill Capewell said the products were chosen because they met the requirements of the recipe, not because they were halal. The meat was pre-seasoned which reduced preparatory time in the kitchens.

"We do not have to state the meat is halal because there are no legislative requirements, county council or school instructions that tell us we must do so.

"If schools want to know we are more than happy to tell them," he said.

Mr Capewell added that all their suppliers were thoroughly vetted and conformed to all the legislation concerning matters like hygiene and temperature controls.

Shire Services which caters for several Wyre Forest schools including St George's, Comberton, Spennells, Franche, Wribbenhall and Blakedown first schools and Bewdley High School, do not use halal suppliers.

Nobody from the other main caterer, Alliance in Partnership, was available for comment.

A Worcestershire County Council spokesman said: "We have no view on the issue whatsoever. It is not for us to comment on something which is not our decision. It is a matter for school governors."