Cheltenham Borough Council's caterers reassure councillors, not implicated in horse meat scandal
CATERERS have reassured Cheltenham Borough Council that visitors to Pittville Pump Room and the Town Hall have not been eating horsemeat.
Fosters, the company which supplies food to the two venues, has spoken to all of its meat suppliers asking for guarantees that no products have been implicated in the equine DNA contamination.
The results are now back and the caterers have told borough bosses that no products supplied by Fosters are involved in the scandal.
Councillors had sought cast iron assurances.
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Councillor Peter Jeffries (LD, Springbank), cabinet member for housing and safety, welcomed the findings.
But he said the whole situation, in terms of giving 100 per cent guarantees, needed to be treated "with caution" because of the complexities of the food chain.
Speaking at a meeting of the full council, he said: "Due to the complexities of food chain supplies and the suspected large scale criminal activity behind this scandal, it would be impossible and indeed improper, to make any such assurances at this stage or any point in the future.
"The council has requested statements from all suppliers giving us the required and unequivocal assurances that no products supplied through our outlets are implicated in the equine DNA contamination."
Mr Jeffries spoke to the Echo after all of the results had come back and the all-clear had been given.
He said: "At the moment, it is good news but what I would say is that the food chain is so complex I would still take it with caution.
"If any members of the public do have any concerns about this they need to report them to the food standards agency or to trading standards at Gloucestershire County Council."
The horsemeat scandal has impacted retailers up and down the country with many products being taken off the shelves of supermarkets because they contained horsemeat. The sheer scale of the issue, as it spread across Europe, has shocked consumers.
The result has been a boon period for independent butchers in Gloucestershire who have reported more and more people seeking the comfort of knowing exactly where the meat they eat has come from.