Northamptonshire schools warned over 'gluten-free' meals

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Schools in Northamptonshire have been told not to serve two "gluten-free" meals after they were found to contain the protein.

Nutritionists discovered gluten in a supplier's shepherd's pie and beef bolognese, which are both used by schools across the county.

The county council said it has 20 pupils registered with gluten-intolerance or coeliac disease.

The council said no children had had an adverse reaction.

Councillor Andrew Grant said: "Our nutritionists regularly monitor the ingredients used by our suppliers in the food we provide and it was as a result of these checks that we picked up the discrepancy between the labelling and the actual ingredients.

"While the quantity of gluten a child may have consumed is quite small, it is nevertheless completely unacceptable for a child with allergies to be exposed to this risk.

"We've requested a full investigation into the circumstances of how this has happened and we're confident the problem is confined to these two particular meals."

The local authority said gluten, a wheat protein, was found in a gravy powder which was used in the two meals.

Gluten triggers an auto-immune response in those that are intolerant to the protein.

It leads to inflammation of the small intestine, which eventually damages the lining of the intestine, making it less able to absorb nutrients.

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