A FIRM that supplies school meals in Dorset says the best way to be sure that children are eating what they should be is to use local produce.

Forerunner Personal Catering said knowing where food came from was more important than ever in the wake of the horsemeat scandal.

It said it bought everything locally and prepared it itself.

MD Declan O’Toole said: “We are a small, local firm who make everything fresh, from scratch, every day.

“We buy all our produce, including our meat, from local suppliers.

“We don’t use any processed beef products such as lasagne or cottage pie in our menus – we make them ourselves. It is this freshly made and locally sourced nature of our business that allows us to give our schools this guarantee”.

Dave Cox, from Springfields Butchers in Poole, Forerunner’s meat supplier, added: “We fully support Forerunner as a local supplier, and all beef supplied to them comes from the West Country and Local suppliers, from British farms.”

Mr O’Toole added: “You can’t know where something is coming from if it is manufactured hundreds of miles away, shipped in overnight and then reheated in the morning and delivered to the school.

“The benefit of being small and local is that parents know the school deal directly with us and they know everything is bought fresh and prepared locally. And it creates local jobs.”