Horse meat probe over school dinners

Steve Whitemore, who says the problem may be more widespread than thought

Steve Whitemore, who says the problem may be more widespread than thought

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DORSET County Council is investigating to see if horse meat has made it into school dinners.

The investigation comes after the growing scandal of horse meat sold in some supermarkets around the country.

Raids were conducted on an abbatoir and butcher in Wales and North Yorkshire yesterday in after concerns were raised about horse meat in burgers and kebabs. Waitrose has withdrawn its essential beef frozen meatballs because they were found to contain pork.

A Dorset County Council spokesperson said: “We have been asked by the Food Standards Agency to conduct an investigation into this matter.

“We have contacted our suppliers and are waiting for them to get back to us.”

However, both Bournemouth Borough Council and Hampshire County Council have already confirmed that none of the food served in the schools or council care homes they are responsible for has been affected.

Hampshire County Council provides around 8.5million meals each year to people in its care, some of whom are vulnerable.

Council leader Cllr Ken Thornber said: “As we are serving around 45,000 meals each day to Hampshire pupils, we have to be very sure about food safety.”

Community learning and commissioning resources manager Rachel Gravett of Bournemouth Borough Council said: “The supplier of the centrally-held school meals contract for the council has confirmed that there have been no contaminated products supplied to them through their core meat suppliers.

“Their products are UK sourced and produced.”

Borough of Poole executive catering manager Tina Hayter said: “All meat used to prepare schools meals in Poole is locally sourced and supplied by an accredited and approved supplier.

“We do not use any processed meat in our school meals. All meat is supplied fresh and is prepared in our own kitchen.”

But Branksome butcher Steve Whitemore, who owns Whitemore’s Butchers in Poole Road, said the problem may be more widescale than is being revealed.

“I think these big chains saying they don’t know anything about it is rubbish,” he said.

“There are a number of rules and regulations in place throughout the process to make sure everything is as it should be.

“After the BSE crisis, they brought in a new legislation that ensures all beef has full traceability.

“By law, every bit of beef needs to have information about the country of origin, the slaughter date, the batch code and more. So what happened there?”

He added: “The other worrying thing is that we are only being told about two items – burgers and lasagne. But what about other products on the shelves?

“How do we know that a chicken pie is actually made up of a chicken, and not something else, like rabbit?

“Once the item is packaged up and there’s a sauce to hide the flavour, you’d never know.”

Comments (8)

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9:42am Wed 13 Feb 13

Hardy Lass says...

Isn't Sodexo a French company who supplies food to the armed services, hospitals and schools and prison service?
Isn't Sodexo a French company who supplies food to the armed services, hospitals and schools and prison service? Hardy Lass
  • Score: 0

9:57am Wed 13 Feb 13

southbourne lover says...

What Steve says is very true. He is much missed in Southbourne.
What Steve says is very true. He is much missed in Southbourne. southbourne lover
  • Score: 0

10:33am Wed 13 Feb 13

l'anglais says...

Hardy Lass wrote:
Isn't Sodexo a French company who supplies food to the armed services, hospitals and schools and prison service?
Yes, and your point is?
[quote][p][bold]Hardy Lass[/bold] wrote: Isn't Sodexo a French company who supplies food to the armed services, hospitals and schools and prison service?[/p][/quote]Yes, and your point is? l'anglais
  • Score: 0

10:41am Wed 13 Feb 13

Tripod says...

IMHO The food industry has deteriorated to the point where the only way to Know what you are eating is to grow (or catch) it yourself.
IMHO The food industry has deteriorated to the point where the only way to Know what you are eating is to grow (or catch) it yourself. Tripod
  • Score: 0

11:46am Wed 13 Feb 13

muscliffman says...

I am unsure what they expect, It would now seem fairly clear that horse-meat has been in our food system for some time, so almost certainly will have entered schools.

More to the point with the 'nanny' state in full swing these days why has nobody, government agency or meat retailer, been checking this part of the human food chain for even it's base content?

We all thought food standards in the UK were being upheld to the highest of levels, how wrong we were and how much worse is this going to go.
I am unsure what they expect, It would now seem fairly clear that horse-meat has been in our food system for some time, so almost certainly will have entered schools. More to the point with the 'nanny' state in full swing these days why has nobody, government agency or meat retailer, been checking this part of the human food chain for even it's base content? We all thought food standards in the UK were being upheld to the highest of levels, how wrong we were and how much worse is this going to go. muscliffman
  • Score: 0

1:56pm Wed 13 Feb 13

suzigirl says...

Surely by using cheap horse meat instead of beef the supermarkets/ producers have made an even greater profit!
Surely by using cheap horse meat instead of beef the supermarkets/ producers have made an even greater profit! suzigirl
  • Score: 0

12:13am Thu 14 Feb 13

s-pb2 says...

Of course if British horses are being used then most of them would have had anti-biotics, painkillers and various other pills fed to them as well, which is all now in the food chain too
Of course if British horses are being used then most of them would have had anti-biotics, painkillers and various other pills fed to them as well, which is all now in the food chain too s-pb2
  • Score: 0

10:34am Thu 14 Feb 13

scrumpyjack says...

suzigirl wrote:
Surely by using cheap horse meat instead of beef the supermarkets/ producers have made an even greater profit!
Genius. I'm surprised the press haven't picked up on this already....

All this time there was I thinking it was the abattoir workers simply couldn't tell the difference between a cow and horse.

Cor I feel pretty stupid now I can tell you....
[quote][p][bold]suzigirl[/bold] wrote: Surely by using cheap horse meat instead of beef the supermarkets/ producers have made an even greater profit![/p][/quote]Genius. I'm surprised the press haven't picked up on this already.... All this time there was I thinking it was the abattoir workers simply couldn't tell the difference between a cow and horse. Cor I feel pretty stupid now I can tell you.... scrumpyjack
  • Score: 0

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