Lancashire schools suspend supplies of processed beef
5:37pm Wednesday 27th February 2013 in News
Schools in Lancashire have suspended the supply of all frozen processed beef products.
During testing, the county council found traces of horse meat in frozen processed beef products supplied to its schools.
Although the large majority of affected products on school menus have tested negative for horse DNA, two have tested positive. The first was a pre-prepared cottage pie used in 10 per cent of primary schools and the second was a Halal beef burger, which had been available at four schools in the county.
All affected schools have been contacted and informed. The council said that frozen processed beef made up a small proportion of the menu, as most school meals are prepared using fresh beef from a local supplier, so pupils will continue to have a wide range of food to choose from. The suspended products were supplied to secondary schools and around 10 per cent of Lancashire's primary schools.
County Councillor Geoff Driver, leader of Lancashire County Council, said: "I hope that parents and children can be reassured by the advice that this isn’t a food safety issue, however it is frankly appalling that we have found horse meat in two products which were supposedly 100 per cent beef.
"These products came from manufacturers who not only carry all the correct certification but who also recently provided us with written assurances their products did not contain horse meat.
“Few if any local councils across the country have been as proactive as we have in testing their school meals and unfortunately the results show we were right to act on the concerns raised by what has become an international scandal.”
Changes to the county council’s school meals menu took effect from Monday.