A 12-year-old girl has been banned from bringing her mother's home-made cakes into school for a charity fundraising sale because she did not have a food hygiene certificate.
Georgie Hippolite, of Cowes, the Isle of Wight, had told her teacher at Cowes Enterprise College that she intended to bring in cakes baked by her mother, Kirsty, which prompted the staff member to phone their home and check on whether they held the safety certificate normally handed to catering professionals.
Mrs Hippolite, a mother of five girls, said: "Georgie's teacher had asked the children whether any parents were willing to send in cakes and she had said: 'My mum will make some.'
"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."
The 39-year-old full-time mother said: "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?
"It's all too easy to pop to Lidl and spend the smallest amount of money on some dry fairy cakes, while I couldn't send in some delicious home-baked cakes. If you went to all the effort of making the cakes you are generally going to be clean at home."
Headteacher James Stewart said: "In the last six weeks all our form groups have been responsible for organising a charity function. This has involved tug of war, guess the number of sweets in a jar, a rounders competition and numerous other activities.
"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."