"Horse meat came from Vestey's company" - Sodexo names firm as mince supplier
Former Cheltenham Racecourse chairman Lord Vestey has been accused of supplying beef laced with horsemeat to one of the UK's biggest catering firms.
Caterer Vestey Foods, which is run by Lord Vestey, has been revealed as the company that shipped minced meat containing more than one per cent horsemeat to Sodexo.
Sodexo has named Vestey Foods as the firm which supplied its tainted beef after previously refusing to reveal the identity of the company.
Lord Vestey, 71, who lives in Stowell Park in Northleach, is a former chairman of the Meat Training Council.
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A spokesman for Sodexo said: "The contracted supplier of the two affected mince products is Vestey and of the burger is Brakes."
Brakes is the supplier for the House of Commons Catering Service.
The 'beef' could have been served in schools, hospitals, care homes and army canteens – as Sodexo had public sector contracts.
They include Stroud High School, Marling, and Ascot Racecourse.
A statement from Vestey Foods said: "Vestey Foods UK confirms that it has supplied Sodexo with meat products manufactured by GA international Food Services Ltd and that, in cooperation with the Food Standards Agency, a programme of DNA testing on manufactured beef products from all our beef suppliers has been in place for some weeks.
"More detailed results from these tests are due back at the end of March."
Sodexo, which supplies school meals in Gloucestershire, withdrew its beef products from Stroud High School last month following the horsemeat scandal.
A Sodexo spokesperson said the required tests had been carried out.
"Results of tests indicating a level of contamination greater than one per cent require notification to the FSA, which Sodexo has done," he said.
"Secondary testing to indicate the quantity of contamination present, using PCR methodology, continues and forms part of our on-going investigation."
Lord Vestey is the Queen's 'Master of the Horse' and was chairman at Prestbury Park for 21 years, stepping down in 2011.
Lord Vestey has been chairman of the Vestey Group since 1995.