School lunch providers in Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire last night said they were confident none of their meals were at risk of containing horsemeat.

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The reassurances follow fears raised last week that some suppliers of public sector food – including that served in schools and hospitals – could be involved in the scandal.

Last night the main providers of school meals in the three counties – Norse in Norfolk, Eastern Facilities Management Solutions in Suffolk and Cambridgeshire Cleaning and Catering Services – said parents and children had no need to worry.

But they said investigations were taking place to officially confirm that all meat used by its suppliers could be traced back to British farms.

A spokesman for Norse, which caters for 307 primary and 14 high schools in Norfolk, said it had received written assurances from all its meat suppliers that they had no links with companies involved in the scandal.

They added: “In addition to the written statements, and as an extra measure, Norse Catering, through its procurement contractor, is also tracing every meat product back to source to independently verify suppliers’ assurances that these products do not come from any suppliers or factories implicated.”

The providers in Norfolk and Suffolk both stressed that their school lunches were all made using fresh or frozen meat and neither used ready-made meals.

Most fresh meat is locally sourced and all is from UK farms.

Clive Hammond, managing director of the Suffolk County Council-owned Eastern Facilities Management Solutions, said its catering company, Eats, provided lunches at more than 250 primary schools and 29 high schools.

He said: “We have a policy of making products fresh on the premises in our kitchens rather than buying in already-prepared meals. All our suppliers all purchase ‘red tractor’ assured red meat, the vast majority of which is purchased locally in Suffolk.”

Its suppliers have all submitted samples for testing to confirm those assurances, with the results due back this week.

A spokesman for Cambridgeshire Catering and Cleaning Services, part of the county council, said: “CCS is confident that none of their meals served to the schools they supply contains any horsemeat – or indeed any other red meat other than from British raised animals.”

16 comments

  • Neigh, Neigh and thrice Neigh. I'll put an each way bet that hay do. They're off school dinners with a gallop! Canter they do any better? I am not saying the meat was bad in my school eef cobbler but I bit into a horse shoe. I thank you.

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    NchNthMan

    Wednesday, February 13, 2013

  • It's changed a bit from boarding school food back in the 50's. In those days we struggled to find any kind of meat in it, and such as we did, it was mostly gristle. As a growing boy, never was the expression "I could eat a horse" more true.

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    T Doff

    Wednesday, February 13, 2013

  • Spot on BG, like the subliminal propaganda, it is undoubtedly all Labour's fault, again. Now what's the official spin for blocking EU-wide food labelling by this government. I believe at the time the message was something along the lines of "more silly EU red tape which we don't need." That doesn't sound quite so clever now so how about something like "it wouldn't have made any difference"; still too lame? Has the government deregulated abattoirs yet, or is that little plan being shelved PDQ?

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    Mr Cameron Isaliar

    Wednesday, February 13, 2013

  • No Horse meat then, just the normal antibiotics, growth hormones and goodness knows what other contaminants.

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    John L Norton

    Wednesday, February 13, 2013

  • Reasurance, but is it based on sound facts? If you asked Tesco a week ago about their lasagne, which has since been proven through actual testing to contain 60 per cent of Mr Ed and Dobbin, they probably would have been very reassuring too.

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    Mr Cameron Isaliar

    Wednesday, February 13, 2013

  • Having seen the carcass of a cow that had been disposed of in a local river only 2 years ago, I wouldn't trust anyone in the meat industry as far as I could throw them.

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    John L Norton

    Wednesday, February 13, 2013

  • All praise to you, EDP, for your vanishingly small coverage of this extraordinary scandal. Don't want to stir up discontent amongst the electorate after all, who knows they might blame the good old govt. Fascinating to see the very same financial crimbos who gave us toxic sub-prime mortgage backed securities are also among the major VC players at Findus. Getting those little investments working hard to stack up fund profits, and what better way than forcing the little companies you own to squeeze their costs to a minimum. I mean who in their right mind would waste money on beef scraps to mince up when horsey is so comparatively inexpensive. No wonder govt have been working jolly hard to keep a lid on this, as in cover-up.

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    Mr Cameron Isaliar

    Thursday, February 14, 2013

  • A shocking admission by Norse - that as a "commercial" organisation they have a supply chain that is not seeking to maximise profit by using the cheapest rubbish available. As a "shareholder" (council tax payer) I feel cheated. Heads must roll - what about that White fellow as a sacrificial offering?

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    Mr Cameron Isaliar

    Wednesday, February 13, 2013

  • Routine testing for horsemeat was stopped by the govt of the day in 2003. So really this was a ticking time bomb. What this latest saga has shown is how ignorant the public are as to how food gets from the farm to their plate. If you want to buy a bucket load of "meat" party food for a quid from a supermarket you are not going to get prime meat. Its going to be reclaimed meat bulked out by the cheapest material available. Its all about market forces and the fact that many parents nowadays have lost the ability to cook and rely on processed foods and takeaways instead of cooking from scratch. Which in the long run doesn`t cost that much more. Let`s hope our farmers and butchers benefit from this scare. They could do with a bit of luck for once.

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    BG

    Wednesday, February 13, 2013

  • Properly sourced horse meat is fine. Daisy Roots lives in a fantasy world. Farmers` Apologist. Have yer ever seen a farmer on a bike? Do you really trust "local butchers", DR?

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, February 13, 2013

  • before the FSA was brought into existence due to BSE, every abattoir had a food standards representative working there. Unless we go back to this practise we have no control over the deception and criminality we are currently experiencing. Hose meat is fine to eat, but for every single test carried our here by the FSA, Germany conducts fifteen tests. Trust is good, but control is better. Retailers have done no testing on their own? what other species do we not test for? Is kangaroo meat OK to mix with pork? What of donkey meat? Our retailers have a lot to answer for. To mix pork into Halal or Kosher meats is unforgivable, that should not happen.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Thursday, February 14, 2013

  • Properly sourced maybe, but with the joke system of traceability in operation, and processed muck passing through who knows how many hands, the opportunity for contamination is enormous. Forget about the wrong species, what about meat not fit for human consumption, condemned, rotten, suitable only for pet food, banned because of drug or other contamination, and the rest. I am sure the greedy little crooks involved would not stop at horses when there is so much waste meat available at a cut price to bulk out their products. Sadly we have a government only too keen to turn a blind eye. After all, regulation and red tape gets in the way. Its the sort of thing the EU demands and we don't like them. At the weekend the minister was throwing his hands in the air and saying there's nothing that can be done. Now the proverbial has hit the fan and fearing a public backlash, they are beating their chests trying to sound like they're going to get tough on the perpetrators. Take Cameron's macho man outburst at PMQs today, he belongs on the stage, not in no. 10.

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    Police Commissioner ???

    Wednesday, February 13, 2013

  • The problem is that people are only looking for horse not Donkey, Zebra, Giraffe or any other meat apart from chicken, pork, beef, and horse. I'm not at all re-assured. Anything could be in there.

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    fester1902

    Saturday, February 16, 2013

  • Dear oh dear! What a palaver over absolutely nothing! This is so trivial I don't even know why I'm bothering to write this. People in Africa would be glad of a bit of horsemeat (I can still hear my mum saying stuff like that). Incidentally, were you all aware that Shergar won another race after he disappeared? Mind you, he was inside the trap 6 dog at Hall Green.

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    backwoodsman

    Wednesday, February 13, 2013

  • its about time all meat is labeled and we are also told how your meat is killed . Many schools are unknowingly buying meat which is killed in the most barbaric way possible called halal meat. Animal cruelty is wrong so why is this practise allowed to bypass the animal cruelty laws

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    milecross

    Wednesday, February 13, 2013

  • That is not fair John and you know it. Unless school suppliers are sourcing their meat from an unreliable processor or from abroad, the meat will have been raised to some of the strictest standards-on pain of penalties- in the world. Rules which you can probably find on the Defra website. It is pretty sickening that farmers have to jump through hoops every step of the way, as do small butchers with their own slaughterhouses when large processors are dealing this way by contaminating what should be decent British meat. My butcher displays the traceability paperwork for his beef for instance. This is a relic of the Labour government and their campaign to undermine rural affairs and their cosy relationship with supermarkets. It is also, sadly, a reflection of the cosy relationship the Tories have with food processors and supermarkets. Buy UK meat from a local butcher. "Have your father got a d*cky, bor ?" is not a question we want to be asking as we eat a burger.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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