Meat destined for schools tested for horse DNA

The Northern Echo: MANE EVENT: Katrina Palmer as a pantomime horse to promote the benefits of buying direct from farmers at the monthly Barnard Castle Farmers’ Market MANE EVENT: Katrina Palmer as a pantomime horse to promote the benefits of buying direct from farmers at the monthly Barnard Castle Farmers’ Market

MEAT destined for the region’s school children is being tested for horse DNA as local authorities seek assurances from suppliers over the continuing scandal.

North Yorkshire County Council has carried out spot tests of beef purchased from its main meat supplier and served in its schools.

The tests comes as local authorities across the region demand reassurances from suppliers that they are buying beef products which do not contain horsemeat.

Don McLure, Durham County Council’s corporate director of resources, said: “We have sought and received assurances from all of our suppliers that there is no cause for concern regarding the products they provide.”

Many councils and other public bodies in the North-East obtain their meat through the North East Purchasing Organisation (NEPO).

Nobody from NEPO was available to comment last night, however Hartlepool Borough Council said NEPO had confirmed that its proactive checks had not found any horse DNA in products bought for the authority.

Other councils, including Darlington and Stockton, said they had been reassured by their suppliers that their meat products were horse-free.

North Yorkshire County Council said all meat supplied for its in-house food service was purchased from Gilmoors in Harrogate.

A recent audit of Gilmoors included an inspection of meat traceability records and the examination of raw meat stocks.

“The audit was satisfactory and showed that everything was in good order, “ a council spokesman said.

The authority is awaiting the results of tests of beef supplied to schools by Gilmoors, as well as processed meat products purchased on an ad hoc basis by a small number of schools.

NHS organisations have also held talks with their meat suppliers.

County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust (CDDFT), which runs Darlington and Bishop Auckland hospitals, said it had received assurances from all of its nominated suppliers that products were traceable.

The Northern Echo: katrina palmer

A spokesman added: “All of our suppliers are currently testing either the raw material or finished products, and to date no products within the trust have been affected.”

South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said it had also received assurances from its suppliers.

Meanwhile, Paragon Quality Foods, based in Armthorpe, near Doncaster, South Yorkshire, which supplies Whitbread with burgers has said it is investigating after horse DNA was detected in one of its products.

Nestlé, the world's biggest food company, said it had removed several beef pasta ready meals from sale in Italy and Spain after finding traces of horse DNA.

The company later confirmed that tests on all of its processed beef products sold in the UK and Ireland had confirmed no presence of horsemeat.

The boss of frozen foods supermarket chain Iceland apologised after suggesting that DNA testing for horse meat on behalf of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) had been carried out in unaccredited labs.

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Comments (2)

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11:01pm Tue 19 Feb 13

hemmi1 says...

other councils, including Darlington and Stockton, said they had been reassured by their suppliers that their meat products were horse-free.

ok so we take their word for it then
arriva apparently say darlington people stink
so i say they eat gee gees
other councils, including Darlington and Stockton, said they had been reassured by their suppliers that their meat products were horse-free. ok so we take their word for it then arriva apparently say darlington people stink so i say they eat gee gees hemmi1
  • Score: 0

9:48am Wed 20 Feb 13

Ally F says...

If you've ever tucked into cheap mass produced processed beef products in various guises; burgers, meatballs, ravioli, lasagne, etc., you will have almost certainly eaten more than 1% horsemeat, quite possibly a lot more, plus all manner of other undeclared rubbish passed off as meat.

What we see being exposed is the inevitable consequence of a price-focussed mass production of convenience food as opposed to quality-focussed. We the consumer as are much to blame for this as the supermarkets. We buy this rubbish and we sustain the market. For goodness sake, what did you expect in your ready meal costing £1 from Iceland - finest cuts of Aberdeen Angus? If Tesco can sell 8 burgers for £1 and make a good profit margin, as can various sub-suppliers providing processed goo that goes into the product, then you really should pause to wonder just what it's made from.

You get what you pay for, if you are not prepared to pay a fair and reasonable amount for your meat, you will get rubbish. Price driven pre-processed convenience meal products are at the lowest end of the quality spectrum.

I do hope the horse meat scandal makes people think about what they are purchasing, where it originates from and what is a sustainble price to pay for food of an assured quality. You want some assurance? Then perhaps eat meat a little less each week, but buy it from your local butcher. He will tell you where its from and he won't say 'produce of the EU' which as we now know covers a multitude of sins.
If you've ever tucked into cheap mass produced processed beef products in various guises; burgers, meatballs, ravioli, lasagne, etc., you will have almost certainly eaten more than 1% horsemeat, quite possibly a lot more, plus all manner of other undeclared rubbish passed off as meat. What we see being exposed is the inevitable consequence of a price-focussed mass production of convenience food as opposed to quality-focussed. We the consumer as are much to blame for this as the supermarkets. We buy this rubbish and we sustain the market. For goodness sake, what did you expect in your ready meal costing £1 from Iceland - finest cuts of Aberdeen Angus? If Tesco can sell 8 burgers for £1 and make a good profit margin, as can various sub-suppliers providing processed goo that goes into the product, then you really should pause to wonder just what it's made from. You get what you pay for, if you are not prepared to pay a fair and reasonable amount for your meat, you will get rubbish. Price driven pre-processed convenience meal products are at the lowest end of the quality spectrum. I do hope the horse meat scandal makes people think about what they are purchasing, where it originates from and what is a sustainble price to pay for food of an assured quality. You want some assurance? Then perhaps eat meat a little less each week, but buy it from your local butcher. He will tell you where its from and he won't say 'produce of the EU' which as we now know covers a multitude of sins. Ally F
  • Score: 0

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