No horsemeat found in Wokingham school dinnersBy Laura Herbert
March 04, 2013
Councils and catering firms providing school meals across the borough say no traces of horsemeat have been found in food from their suppliers.
Wokingham Borough Council and Bracknell Forest Council have moved to reassure concerned parents as the Food Standards Agency (FSA) continues to investigate the scandal.
Last week cottage pies supplied to 47 schools in Lancashire were withdrawn after traces of horsemeat were found in the dish.
Wokingham and Bracknell councils use private contractors to provide meals to schools, which all claim to have found no food to have been contaminated.
Wokingham Borough Council released a statement on behalf of its school meals supplier Caterlink in relation specifically to beef products the company sources for school meals.
It said: “Caterlink can confirm we do not use any meat-based product from Findus and other suppliers currently associated with the on-going FSA investigation, and our beefburgers are made fresh by our butcher John Shepherd using UK beef. Caterlink is proud of our farm-to-fork journey, which ensures we can trace the origin of our freshly prepared meat dishes to the farm where the animals are reared.
“All of our suppliers are audited by an external body to ensure that they comply with our and statutory obligations.”
Bracknell Forest Council said on behalf of cater ISS Facility Services Education: “We can confirm no horsemeat has been found, and are confident that none will be found within our school food.
“This is primarily because our standard menus in Bracknell have been awarded the Soil Association’s Food for Life Silver Catering Mark. The Food for Life Silver Catering Mark ensures all the meat is traceable back to the farm and meets or exceeds UK legal minimum welfare standards.”
The company said 95 per cent of lunches in Bracknell are cooked from scratch each day, that it sources local produce and producers and that meat used is Farm Assured or Red Tractor certified.