May 23 2013 Latest news:
Alistair Kleebauer, Senior reporter
Thursday, February 21, 2013
There is no horsemeat in meals being served to primary school children in Redbridge, according to the the council’s contracted caterers.
A spokesman for ISS Facility Services Education said no horsemeat has been found in its school food and “we are confident that none will be found”.
He added: “This is primarily because our standard menus in Redbridge have been awarded the Soil Association’s Food for Life Silver Catering Mark.
“The mark ensures all the meat is traceable back to the farm and meets or exceeds UK legal minimum welfare standards.”
Schools in the borough receive lunches in which 95 per cent of food is freshly cooked from scratch each day; local produce and producers are sought where possible and menus are based around food that is freshly prepared on-site or at a local hub kitchen from principally unprocessed ingredients, he said.
A national horsemeat scandal has led to tests conducted by British retailers showing one in 65 beef products were contaminated with horse meat.
But ISS said beef is not used in any menus served in Redbridge schools.
Halal meat is purchased from certified butchers and kosher meat from local kosher butchers.
The spokesman said: “To date we are confident that every step has been taken to ensure the integrity of our food chain but we are not complacent about this, so we will be maintaining a high level of contact with all suppliers, who, we know, are working very closely with the Food Standards Agency.”
Secondary schools in Redbridge choose their own food suppliers.