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Cumbria and North Yorkshire school meals 'contain no horsemeat'
4:42pm Friday 8th March 2013 in News
FOOD suppliers in Cumbria and North Yorkshire have been given a clean bill of health following tests for horsemeat.
Cumbria County Council's Trading Standards announced that, following the completion of the first and second phase of the Food Standards Agency's UK-wide survey of beef products, local suppliers have all tested negative for pork and horsemeat.
Samples were taken from a range of businesses, including school meal suppliers.
Service manager Angela Jones said: "It’s fantastic news that our local meat suppliers have been completely compliant with food standards laws.
"We will continue to work with these suppliers to ensure that this compliancy is consistent, and we will keep the public informed our findings following the next phase of testing."
Food supplied by North Yorkshire County Caterers, which runs a school meals service, was also found to be horsemeat-free.
The county council had carried out an audit of supplies, which included an inspection of meat traceability records and the examination of raw meat stocks.
A spokesman for the council said the audit showed that everything was satisfactory.
"As an additional safeguard the county council carried out spot testing of beef being used in schools.
"This also included tests on some processed meat products which a small number of schools had purchased on an ad hoc basis, outside the advertised menu.
"All of these tests show that beef used had no trace of horsemeat or any other animal meat."
County councillor Arthur Barker, North Yorkshire’s executive member for the schools catering service said: "These tests prove what we have been confident of all along, that the ingredients used in school meals are from top quality produce.
"North Yorkshire County Caterers has gone to great lengths over the years and helped to set a national standard in the sourcing of food and the training of cooks, so that all our food in schools is locally sourced whenever possible and cooked fresh in school kitchens.
"We firmly believe that a nutritious meal served to children in the middle of the day promotes good health and sustains their learning for the long term."