Wiltshire school meal supplier halts products after equine DNA found in frozen beef (From The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald)
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Wiltshire school meal supplier halts products after equine DNA found in frozen beef
Sodexo, a catering company which supplies food to around 20 schools in Wiltshire, has withdrawn their frozen beef products after traces of horse meat were found in some samples.
The company carried out tests on products it receives from their supplies with equine DNA being found.
This is the latest development in the horse meat saga which has seen Findus, Birdseye, Tesco, the Co-op, Lidl, Iceland and Aldi all withdraw some of their frozen products from shelves.
A spokesperson said: “We demanded written assurances from across our supply chain that the products we purchase did not contain horse meat, and additionally implemented an internal sampling programme.
“Despite repeated guarantees from our suppliers, our sampling has identified frozen beef products which tested positive and this situation is totally unacceptable.”
Sodexo have informed the Food Standards Agency and will be carrying out their own internal investigation.
Sodexo business, Tillery Valley Foods, which provides meals for the healthcare sector, hasn’t had any products affected.
Wiltshire Council doesn’t provide the region’s school meals as individual schools organise their own catering contracts with outside businesses.
Wiltshire Councillor Keith Humphries, cabinet member for Public Health and Protection Services, said: “This is a very fast moving situation and we don’t know what is coming next. The Sodexo discovery is just the latest in a growing line of companies involved in this big issue.”
Following the first discovery of horse meat, the FSA launched an inquiry into the issue ordering food companies to carry out tests on all processed beef products, specifically asking some local authorities to carry out tests, on products produced in their areas, with Wiltshire Council not being asked.
Cllr Humphries said: “Other than the supermarket chains we haven’t had any issues and I think we are just playing a waiting game at the minute because given the magnitude of the situation, there might well be traces found locally at some stage in the future, we just don’t know.”
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