Eastbourne girl finds metal staple in her school lunch

Paul Gillanders and his daughter Isabella at their home in Eastbourne (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-180917-101013001
Paul Gillanders and his daughter Isabella at their home in Eastbourne (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-180917-101013001

An eight-year-old Eastbourne girl says she was shocked to find metal staples in her school lunch.

Luckily, Isabella Robotham had not bitten into the wrap because she felt something hard inside.

Suspicious, she cut it open and found several staples inside stuck together in a block.

Now a full investigation has been launched into how the food became contaminated at Tollgate Junior School in Winston Crescent, Eastbourne.

Isabella’s father, Paul Gillanders, said he was contacted by school staff as soon as his daughter reported her discovery.

He said, “I was steaming mad. If she had swallowed the staples the consequences could have been horrendous for her throat and stomach. It doesn’t bear thinking about.”

Mr Gillanders, of Carew Road, Eastbourne, said he had expected an immediate investigation.

“But staff told me it was ‘a near miss so no action was necessary’,” he said.

Chartwells is the catering company contracted by East Sussex County Council to supply school meals.

A county council spokesman said, “We are aware of this incident and will be working with our contractor as it investigates the circumstances behind it.

“The catering service at the school is carried out to a very high standard and received the highest possible food hygiene rating following its most recent inspection. We need to await the findings of the investigation so we can understand fully what happened in this instance.”

Stephen Dennis, the headteacher at Tollgate Junior School, said, “I can confirm that an incident did occur on Thursday September 13. The school has been in liaison with the management at Chartwells, the company which is responsible for catering. I have asked for a copy of the investigation report to be forwarded to me once their investigation has taken place.”