'No horsemeat in Bath school meals' suppliers assure
School and community meals in Bath have not been affected by the ongoing horsemeat scandal, suppliers have assured.
Welsh Bros Foods and apetito, which supply school and community meals in Bath respectively, say tests for the presence of horse DNA in their produce were negative.
The assurances come after Irish food inspectors last month announced they had found horsemeat in some burgers stocked by a number of UK supermarket chains including Tesco, Iceland and Lidl.
Two weeks later pig DNA was found in supposedly halal products for Muslim prisoners.
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The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has started a sampling programme to investigate how far the contaminated products have been distributed, and ordered food businesses to carry out authenticity tests on all beef products such as beef burgers and meatballs.
The tests are for significant levels of horsemeat, and businesses must have the first set of results by Friday February 15.
The Government has warned while all processed beef products are safe to eat, consumers should brace themselves for more unwelcome news this week.
Welsh Bros Foods and apetito have assured they have not been implicated in the scandal.
A comment from Welsh Bros Foods, sent to This is Bath by a spokesperson for Bath & North East Somerset Council, reads: “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.”
Meanwhile apetito said DNA tests carried out on all beef raw materials and finished products on January 29 were “100 per cent clear”.
“As a result we have no evidence whatsoever that apetito is implicated in the incident”, its statement read.
The supplier also said it “has never traded, purchased or produced equine products”, and said its producer of Halal meals has confirmed all meat used is sourced from authenticated Halal and EU-approved suppliers. Its producer of Halal meals also confirmed it does not use beef in any meal, apetito said.
The supplier's statement continued: “apetito and Wiltshire Farm Foods are 100 per cent committed to producing high quality, nutritious and safe food in which our customers can have confidence”.