Beef dishes withdrawn from Bristol schools over horsemeat scare
BEEF dishes served in Bristol schools have been withdrawn from canteens due to the horsemeat scandal.
Eden Foodservice, which supplies meals to 126 secondary, primary and nursery schools in the city, has withdrawn four products as a precautionary measure.
The firm has withdrawn its pasta sauce with meat balls, pasta sauce with bolognese, sliced roast beef and traditional Cornish pasty.
The processed dishes were withdrawn a week ago and Eden's supplier is conducting tests on the products to check for the presence of horsemeat. The Cornish pasty dish, which is made with beef skirt, has already been tested and results have revealed no evidence of horsemeat.
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All beef products supplied by Eden which are not processed are still being supplied to schools.
Lizzie Woolley, spokesman for the Surrey-based firm, said: "We are extremely confident that no contamination has occurred in any of our beef products as a result of robust due diligence processes we have in place with our suppliers.
"However, as an added precaution we are removing a small number of beef products from sale until we have received the satisfactory guarantees from our suppliers.
"In the meantime, we will only be serving products made with fresh British Red Tractor beef from a single slaughterhouse and processing plant in Shrewsbury.
"This facility handles all aspects of the livestock slaughter, meat processing and packing onsite without any contact with imported meat or external foodstuff.
"This means the quality of the meat is guaranteed and that all livestock entering the plant can be traced back to the farm of origin in the UK."We are taking the current concerns very seriously, but we are completely satisfied that every step has been taken to ensure the integrity of our food chain."
Eden Foodservice won a £40 million deal in 2007 to provide school meals in Bristol for eight years.
The city council selected the caterer, part of Rentokil Initial, after it met the Government's nutritional guidelines for school meals a year ahead of the deadline.
The contract, which was worth £5 million in annual turnover, was previously run in-house by the council.
A city council spokeswoman said affected schools would receive letters from Eden on Monday explaining why the meals had been withdrawn.
She said: “The council demands high quality from its school meals contractors, specifically that they use good quality ingredients and 90 per cent of dishes are fresh and homemade.
“All our school meals providers are accredited with Red Tractor awards which means all meat is sourced from reputable suppliers, animals are looked after, meat is good quality and the supply chain can be traced back to a UK source.
“They do not use products from any companies used in recent coverage about horsemeat in processed meats.
“One supplier, Eden Foodservice, is removing a small number of beef products purely as a precautionary measure until they receive satisfactory guarantees from their suppliers.”