Gloucestershire school dinners given the all clear from horse meat
SCHOOL meals in Gloucestershire have been given the all clear after tests on supplies of food came back free from horsemeat.
Worried parents were keen to find out if their children had been unwittingly eating horse in spaghetti bolognese and beef burgers served up from school kitchens.
But Gloucestershire County Council was quick to confirm tests on its supplier, Edwards & Ward, had given its meat products a clean bill of health.
A spokesman for Gloucestershire County Council said: "No school meals have been withdrawn from the 185 primary and special schools within the county contract supplied by Edwards & Ward.
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"Following Food Standards Agency (FSA) guidance, we have gained written assurances from Edwards & Ward that it has not been supplied with products or ingredients sourced from any meat suppliers cited by the FSA as part of the current horse meat scandal and that DNA testing has been undertaken or is currently being undertaken.
"Beef used in the spaghetti bolognese is supplied, slaughtered and processed locally from cattle under 30 months of age.
"The beef burgers are also sourced from fully accredited suppliers with full traceability back to UK farms."
Although it confirmed schools outside the contract were responsible for their own testing, it did say advice had been passed on for concerned parents to contact schools directly.
Yesterday, the horsemeat scandal focus switched to children's sweets as well.
It emerged that gelatine, which originates from the skin and bones of animals and is found in sweets like well as jelly, trifles and some yoghurts, will be tested for traces of horse.
The tests will be expanded to 514 products in total, including stock cubes and steak, the Food Standards Agency said yesterday.
FSA testing is being carried out in 28 other local authorities.
Raw minced beef products such as burgers, minced beef and meat balls, which are being checked for horse and pork DNA.
And 140 samples of beef-based ready meals, including lasagne and cottage pie are also being examined. The agency will disclose any formal action taken in April.