Cowes school bans home-baked cakes over hygiene rule

Cowes Enterprise College
Image caption,
Children would still be able to sell cakes made at the school, the headteacher said

A 12-year-old girl has been banned from selling homemade cakes at a school charity sale because her mother did not have a food hygiene certificate.

Staff told Kirsty Hippolite's daughter Georgie could not sell her cakes at the Cowes Enterprise College fundraiser.

Mother-of-five Mrs Hippolite, 39, described the decision as "bizarre."

Headteacher James Stewart said it was advised it was good practice to ensure cakes were prepared by someone with a food hygiene certificate.

'Personally liable'

Mrs Hippolite said Georgie had volunteered to take in her homemade cakes when asked by a teacher.

She said: "Two days later, her teacher rang up asking if I had a food hygiene certificate because they couldn't sell the cakes without one.

"I said no, because I just bake at home, I do not bake professionally.

"He explained that unfortunately it would mean he would be personally liable if anything went wrong with any of the children that ate them.

"But he said that so they wouldn't go to waste, we could take them in and sell them to the teachers.

"I felt, how bizarre. I thought it was a joke.

"Has health and safety got to the point where you cannot bring home-baked cakes into school?"

'Supervised by staff'

Mr Stewart said all pupils had been involved in organising a charity event.

Mr Stewart added: "Cakes have also been sold by pupils, although we have been advised that it is good practice to make sure they have been prepared by a person who has a food hygiene certificate or they have supervised the preparation of the cakes.

"Clearly the safety of our students is of paramount importance so we have followed the recommended guidance.

"Pupils have also made cakes at school in the food technology area and sold these when they have been supervised by qualified staff."

Bill Murphy, Isle of Wight Council head of planning and regulatory services said: "While it is indeed accurate that generally people preparing food for public consumption must be registered with the environmental health department, parents making the occasional cake to sell at a school event do not need to be registered.

"I am sure, though, that the teacher clearly had the best of intentions for the health and safety of their students."

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