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To Complain to School

(28 Posts)
Dutch212 Wed 16-Mar-16 19:35:48

My child is vegetarian and has been since birth. She normally takes packed lunches to school despite being young enough to have free school dinners. Two weeks ago the menus changed to include more vegetarian child-friendly options, and she was happy to have school dinners and be able to join her friends.
Today was roast with a quorn meat replacement. After she had eaten it two midday assistants told her they thought she had mistakenly been given meat. She threw up after lunch and was sent home, possibly a bug or maybe a reaction as never had meat??
She will now not have school dinners again, which means despite being able to have free meals I cannot claim them as they cannot guarantee vegetarian food. I am fuming at the possible mistake, and that my child is restricted due to their inadequacies.
I want to complain and daughter to have an apology, is this reasonable?

Stillunexpected Wed 16-Mar-16 19:45:24

What age is your daughter?

Mumofsophie Wed 16-Mar-16 19:45:25

We were also in this situation and complained. They need to have systems in place to ensure that children are being the correct meals. I'm not sure about demanding an apology as such but they should take the incident seriously and investigate whatever went wrong to ensure it doesn't happen again. I complained to the School Meals Service rather than the school, and t was taken seriously and dealt with. However,I decided to stick with packed lunches after that...

Sparklingbrook Wed 16-Mar-16 19:46:16

What was said when you went to pick her up?

CaptainCrunch Wed 16-Mar-16 19:47:17

Your post doesn't make much sense. If the menu choice was a vegetarian substitute there's no way it would accidentally be real meat. And no one even seems sure if there was a mistake. The only way your DD would have been served meat would be if she was given the meat choice meal of the day by mistake.

It's your choice to give your child a pack lunch instead of taking up the offer of a FSM.

Complaining and demanding an apology seems pointless and ott to me.

Dutch212 Wed 16-Mar-16 19:48:12

6 years old.

Nothing was said when picked up, just that she felt ill and had been sick and not to bring her back within 48 hours.

Dutch212 Wed 16-Mar-16 19:49:32

I think that they were unsure if she had been given substitute or meat.

Sparklingbrook Wed 16-Mar-16 19:51:58

So she didn't mention the meat thing til she got home? Why did 2 assistants say this to her?

I would just email the school and ask them to investigate what happened to start with, as you only have what your child is saying to go on. Don't go demanding this, that and the other until you have all the facts.

MrsHathaway Wed 16-Mar-16 19:53:25

This happened to a friend's daughter at age four and five. The information that she is vegetarian hadn't made it from the office to the kitchen.

School was very good when the mother complained: indeed iirc they told her as soon as they realised (it wouldn't be immediately obvious to a small child that the chilli was made with minced meat for example) and she is now happily and safely back on school dinners.

Talk to school calmly. Good luck.

RubbleBubble00 Wed 16-Mar-16 19:54:22

just ask the school what happened.

99percentchocolate Wed 16-Mar-16 19:54:41

That is absolutely terrible. People that have been vegetarian since birth don't have the stomach enzymes required to process meat so it can make them very, very poorly.
My DP has been a vegetarian all his life (nearly 40 years) and was recently given meat stock in a meal at a hotel. He was hospitalised because he was so poorly as a result.
Meat eaters just don't get it.
My dd is 4 and well aware that she doesn't eat meat - she thought she had accidentally eaten something with animals in recently and became very, very upset.
Your poor DD, I hope she is ok. I would be coming down on them really hard for this - especially since she has been poorly.

NeverGetTheBestOfMe Wed 16-Mar-16 20:05:51

The vegetarian quorn fillet on roast day at the school I work in looks, tastes and smells discusting! It's supposed to be like a chicken fillet only it looks like something a budgie would eat!

eatsleephockeyrepeat Wed 16-Mar-16 20:10:00

The vegetarian quorn fillet on roast day at the school I work in looks, tastes and smells discusting!

She must have had the meat then OP as otherwise she wouldn't have been able to swallow for gagging.

WTF Never??

NeverGetTheBestOfMe Wed 16-Mar-16 20:12:18

The kids always throw it in the bin tbh. Total waste of time and money putting it on the menu

Dutch212 Wed 16-Mar-16 20:15:50

Well this is why until they changed menus she had packed lunch. Before this the options were a cheese baguette one day, peas, sweetcorn and rice another, and jacket potatoes pretty much every other day...

Janeymoo50 Wed 16-Mar-16 20:17:20

You don't know for sure what happened yet, so slight over reaction so far.
Fuming, "possible" mistake, inadequacies, apologies, etcetc.
Ott reaction thus far.

Orda1 Wed 16-Mar-16 20:21:02

Surely she would know the difference between meat and a substitute?

NeverGetTheBestOfMe Wed 16-Mar-16 20:23:34

Some of the veggie options are okay like Italian pasta, vegetarian sausage roll, veggie toad in the hole etc.

I have worked in a few schools and in some they don't care about the green option so for instance the beef would be cooked in gravy then some of that gravy would be poured into a jug in case someone having the veggie option wanted gravy hmm

I've seen the same tongs used for both meat and veggie options and in some schools with the green/red tokens if they have a mobile cook in who doesn't know the children, unless the child says they are veggie it's been known the child has been allowed to choose the meat option when asked what they would like!

Dutch212 Wed 16-Mar-16 20:24:37

Not really, I don't really like quorn products so rarely use them at home. If we have a roast I normally use Linda McCartney sausages for the kids or make a loaf using lentils.
Yeah I've calmed down now, I was just upset at her throwing up, them not telling me the full story and her being put off school dinners whether a mistake was made or not she won't feel happy eating them now.

NeverGetTheBestOfMe Wed 16-Mar-16 20:25:02

*some schools WITHOUT the green/red tokens

ctjoy103 Wed 16-Mar-16 20:28:31

What was the meal she was given? Wouldn't she have known the difference between actual meat and a substitute?

CountryRoadTakeMeHome Wed 16-Mar-16 20:28:48


Can't believe how many people have misheard this word! It's not even a typo!

Oops not helpful to OP though!

MoreCrackThanHarlem Wed 16-Mar-16 20:29:57

The vegetarian quorn fillet on roast day at the school I work in looks, tastes and smells discusting (sic)

The dead flesh of an animal on your plate doesn't look too appetising either.

I think your dd would have noticed and this was a mistake on the staff's part. Talk to the school, make sure that all the serving staff are aware your child is vegetarian.
In our school the pupils who have vegetarian, Halal or neither, each have different coloured trays to prevent these types of mix ups.

shazzarooney99 Wed 16-Mar-16 20:31:50

Its a free meal.

RufusTheReindeer Wed 16-Mar-16 20:33:52

This happened when ds1 was nearly 5

I didnt worry about it and didnt complain at the time as he didnt have school dinners usually

However, the school has potentially made a mistake and you are well within your rights to complain and hopefully get an apology

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