Processed beef is off menu

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The supply of all frozen processed beef products to schools has been suspended as a precaution in the light of the horsemeat scandal.

Lancashire County Council has chosen to test for traces of horsemeat in all the frozen processed beef products supplied to its schools, as well as undertaking work on the national investigation led by the Food Standards Agency.

Although the large majority of affected products on school menus have tested negative for horse DNA, two have tested positive.

The first was a pre-prepared cottage pie used in 10% of primary schools (announced earlier in February) and the second was a Halal beef burger, which had been available at four schools in the county.

All affected schools have been contacted and informed. County Councillor Geoff Driver, Leader of Lancashire County Council, said: “I hope that parents and children can be reassured by the advice that this isn’t a food safety issue, however it is frankly appalling that we have found horsemeat in two products which were supposedly 100 percent beef.

“Under the circumstances, with children returning from their half term break, we feel we have no choice but to withdraw all frozen processed beef products as a precaution until the food industry and regulators do something to restore confidence in what people are being fed.”

Changes to the county council’s school meals menu will take place with immediate effect.

All frozen products that contain processed beef will be taken off the menu.