School meals contained horsemeat, admits Bath and North East Somerset Council
School meals in and around Bath contained a small amount of horsemeat, it was revealed today.
A batch of beef mince containing one per cent of horsemeat was received by 49 primary schools and 10 early years centres across Bath and North East Somerset, the council said.
Two other schools from outside the district also took delivery of the batch.
The authority has withdrawn all beef mince products from its school meals supplier, Welsh Bros Foods, and disposed of any stock, a statement has confirmed.
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Menus in the district's schools have been altered and no meals containing beef mince will be served following the discovery.
B&NES said it was confident that all meals are now free of all traces of horsemeat.
The move comes after Welsh Bros Foods informed the council that a batch of beef mince distributed in mid-December contained a small amount of horsemeat.
Welsh Bros Foods said tests revealed the batch contained one per cent of horsemeat.
Head teachers and early years centre managers have been told about the discovery and urged to inform parents.
B&NES also pointed to advice from the Foods Standards Agency (FSA) which stresses that there was no evidence of food safety risks from horsemeat.
Newort-based Welsh Bros Foods has described the horsemeat discovery as a shock.
Managing director Alan Haycock said they had received an email to say that a test had come back positive.
Mr Haycock said trading standards were investigating and the company was waiting for further information.
“We’re very busy contacting our customers now and letting them know,” he said.
Earlier this month Welsh Bros Foods said it had not been caught up in the horsemeat scandal.
A statement from Welsh Bros Foods, sent to This is Bath by a spokesperson for Bath & North East Somerset Council, said: “Welsh Bros Foods do not purchase or process any horsemeat.
“Burgers are produced from forequarter meat and trims from carcasses purchased from approved licensed abattoirs in the UK.
“Welsh Bros Foods produces all of its burgers in house to its own recipes. Welsh Bros Foods does not procure any burgers from anybody else.
“Welsh Bros Foods has as a matter of precaution and re-assurance already submitted burgers, beef mince and beef trims to a laboratory for testing for the presence of horsemeat DNA. All tests were negative for the presence of horse DNA.
“Welsh Bros Foods will be submitting further samples to be tested for the presence of horse DNA on Monday 11.02.13. This is for reassurance purposes only.”