15:26 Tuesday 12 February 2013

Council rules out school meals horse meat risk

Written byRICH GUTTRIDGE

Mark Winnington near accident black spot at Creswell Mark Winnington near accident black spot at Creswell

COUNCIL bosses have moved to allay fears that horse meat could have got into school meals in Burton and South Derbyshire after the Government announced that ‘immediate’ checks would be carried out.

Both Staffordshire and Derbyshire County Council insist they are on top of the situation and that checks have already taken place to ensure there is no risk to children.

The scandal has been making national headlines for weeks with a number of supermarkets being affected after horse meat was found to have leaked into the food supply.

Chains such as Tesco, Asda, Aldi and Lidl have all been victims of the scandal, with a number of beef products being found to contain horse meat.

With more revelations emerging by the day, it has sparked fears that the meat could have got into schools with the Government announcing that meat is to be tested across the country.

Staffordshire County Council confirmed that as soon as the scandal broke it requested assurances that all meat heading to schools in the county was safe.

Mark Winnington, cabinet member for environment, said: “People should have absolute confidence in what they are eating. As soon as we saw stories about contaminated meat, we contacted our suppliers to ensure that the county council’s catering services were not affected.

“We have had assurances from all of our suppliers that neither they, nor their own suppliers buy beef products from those companies implicated in recent reports.

“However, we will continue to seek a cast-iron guarantee on the quality and origin of the food we buy.”

Councillor Winnington added that wherever possible the council tries to source its meat from Staffordshire to ensure they know where it comes from and also to support local businesses.

Mike Longden, of Derbyshire County Council, also moved to reassure parents in the county, adding: “I’m keen to pre-empt any worries parents might have by making it clear our school meals meet the very highest standards.

“We have a supplier who provides our fresh mince and they are subject to regular checks.”

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