Home Office contractor ‘gave children hotel food containing worms’

·1-min read
FILE: Fish and chips  (REUTERS)
FILE: Fish and chips (REUTERS)

Children at a Home Office hotel were fed worms in meals given to them, according to a report.

A four-year-old, who unwittingly ate a meal of fish and chips containing the worms, was rushed to hospital afterwards, reported the Guardian.

The paper reported that a family were being housed in a Home Office hotel run by contractor Serco in the Midlands when the incident happened last month.

It said the father of the family, who asked not to be named, said he experienced sickness and fever for three days after eating the meal, and other family members also experienced symptoms.

They have since reportedly been rehoused by the Home Office.

According to the paper, environmental health officers discovered that the food contained parasitic round worms, while contractor Serco reportedly told the family in response to a complaint that “there was an insect of some kind” in the food.

“The food in the hotel was very bad and we had to call the paramedics after my four-year-old son ate the meal and started vomiting,” the unnamed father said.

It comes after the charity the Refugee Council found that Home Office use of hotels as temporary accommodation had almost trebled in 2021.

The Standard has contacted Serco for comment.

However, its contract director for asylum seeker accommodation, Jenni Halliday, told the Guardian: “Clearly this food is unacceptable and should have never been served to the asylum seekers at the hotel.

“We have apologised to the family concerned and we are working with the hotel management to ensure that all food meets the required standards.”

A Home Office spokesperson said it would be looking into the case, as “high standards” were expected of its contractors in providing “safe, secure accommodation”.

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