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‘No horsemeat in our school meals’ says Bradford Council
Bradford Council has assured parents that horse meat has not got into local school meals.
The authority issued a statement in the wake of news that cottage pie testing positive for horse DNA had been sent to 47 schools in Lancashire.
It is the first time since the scandal broke that horsemeat has been discovered in school dinners.
Lancashire County Council said that it has withdrawn pre-prepared cottage pies from 47 school kitchens.
Councillor Andrew Thornton, Bradford Council’s executive member for environment, said: “We can assure parents and families that strict standards are in place regarding the supply chain for meat used by the Council’s School Catering Service.
“The limited number of beef dishes that are on the School Catering Service’s menus are prepared by the service itself using only farm-assured UK Beef from one supplier that only uses registered UK slaughter houses.”
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) last night published results of widespread testing of meat products.
It said 2,501 tests have been carried out on beef products, with 29 results positive for undeclared horsemeat at or above one per cent.
These 29 results related to seven different products, which have already been reported and withdrawn from sale.
The products linked to the positive results were confirmed to be Aldi’s special frozen beef lasagne and special frozen spaghetti bolognese, the Co-op’s frozen quarter pounder burgers, Findus beef lasagne, Rangeland’s catering burger products, and Tesco value frozen burgers and value spaghetti bolognese.
Bradford-based Morrisons said 68 test results on its products have not found horsemeat, with more results still to come.
The firm has also revealed that branded salami removed from the shelves as a precaution had since tested negative for horsemeat.
It has also reported a jump in sales of 18 per cent at its fresh meat counters since the horsemeat scandal reared its head. Sales of fresh beef burgers have rocketed 50 per cent and pork sales by 124 per cent.
Morrisons chief executive Dalton Philips said: “Shoppers who are concerned by the recent crisis should buy fresh meat supplies from a trained butcher.
“We encourage all customers to talk to the butcher about where their animals are sourced from. Buying from reputable, skilled butchers should give shoppers reassurance and greater confidence in meat products.”
Campaign group Mumsnet urged the FSA to speed up testing of school and hospital meals, the results of which do not have to be released until April.
Sheffield Council said it had suspended the use of all processed meat in school meals with immediate effect, as a precautionary measure to protect student safety.
The decision was made jointly with its catering company, the council said.