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Council leader - it's ' frankly appalling'

I hope that parents and children can be reassured by the advice that this isn’t a food safety issue, however it is frankly appalling that we have found horsemeat in two products which were supposedly 100 percent beef. These products came from manufacturers who not only carry all the correct certification but who also recently provided us with written assurances their products did not contain horsemeat.

Few if any local councils across the country have been as proactive as we have in testing their school meals and unfortunately the results show we were right to act on the concerns raised by what has become an international scandal.

Under the circumstances, with children returning from their half term break today, we feel we have no choice but to withdraw all frozen processed beef products as a precaution until the food industry and regulators do something to restore confidence in what people are being fed.

– Geoff Driver, Leader of Lancashire County Council

Horsemeat traces found in Halal school dinners

Lancashire County Council has suspended the supply of all frozen processed beef products to schools, as a precaution, after its own scientific tests carried out on the products revealed traces of horsemeat in Halal burgers.

Earlier this month traces of equine DNA was found in cottage pie delivered to 47 schools in the county. The Halal beef burgers were available at four schools in the county.

All affected schools have been contacted and informed.

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Lancashire County Councillor on school meals situation

Lancashire County Councillor Susie Charles, cabinet member for children and schools, has said they had sought extras assurance that its external suppliers were not providing any products containing horse DNA.

Testing had returned one positive result, she said.

Relatively few schools in Lancashire use this particular product but our priority is to provide absolute assurance that meals contain what the label says - having discovered this one doesn't, we have no hesitation in removing it from menus.

This does not appear to be a food safety issue but I've no doubt parents will agree we need to take a very firm line with suppliers and it is a credit to our officers that we have been able to quickly identify the problem and take the product off the menus.

Lancashire County Councillor Susie Charles

Horsemeat found in cottage pies sent to Lancashire schools

by Matt O'Donoghue

Traces of horsemeat have been found in food supplied to schools in Lancashire.

Cottage pies delivered to 47 schools has tested positive for horse DNA.

The product has now been withdrawn from kitchens and headteachers have been alerted.

Analysts at one of only six laboratories in the country doing the FSA's tests discovered the contaminated product late yesterday.

Granada Reports correspondent Matt O'Donoghue exclusively broke the story.

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Council withdraws beef product from Lancashire school kitchens

Lancashire County Council has withdrawn a beef product from school kitchens after it provisionally tested positive for traces of horse DNA.

The provisional results of the tests on a pre-prepared cottage pie from an external supplier were reported late yesterday evening, February 14, and have been passed onto the Food Standards Agency.

– Lancashire County Council

EXCLUSIVE: Horsemeat in Lancashire schools' cottage pie

by Matt O'Donoghue

Cottage pie that was delivered to 47 schools in Lancashire has tested positive for horse DNA.

The product has now been withdrawn from kitchens.

Officials at Lancashire County Council say the amount of horse consumed by the children will have been 'minute.'

Analysts at one of six laboratories in the country doing the FSA's tests discovered the contaminated product late yesterday.

Scientists uncovered equine DNA at 0.1% concentration in samples.

Headteachers have been alerted.

Statement from Aintree Racecourse

Aintree racecourse say they are as confident as they possible can be that no unfit meat ever reaches the food chain.

The Racing Industry takes every possible course of action to ensure that horses , fatally injured on a racecourse , cannot enter the food chain.

Pro-active and considered measures are in place to prevent this, such as passport identification backed up by a sticker on the passport and close liaison with licensed disposal organisations.

Aintree Racecourse follow these guidelines to the letter and can confirm that Peter Boddy, who has been mentioned in newspaper reports, is contracted by Aintree to remove carcasses if required .

By the time these carcasses are returned to the disposal organisation's premises they are totally unsuitable for consumption.

They are fully signed off as unsuitable. Indeed it is illegal for horses humanely put down by injection on the racecourse to enter the food chain.

We are as confident as we possibly can be that no unfit meat ever reaches the human food chain.

– Statement from Aintree Racecourse
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