Feb 21 2013 by Rob Pattinson, Skelmersdale Advertiser
A SKELMERSDALE school has moved to reassure parents about its beef products amid the current horsemeat scandal.
It comes in the same week horse DNA was discovered in beef cottage pies delivered to 47 schools across Lancashire.
The county council said officials had acted to remove the pre-prepared meals from school kitchens after they tested positive for horsemeat traces. But the authority refused to reveal which schools were affected – and whether any were in West Lancs. , Glenburn Sports College said its catering operation “Viva le Café” understands the intense interest in what goes into school food and has already taken very positive steps to minimise these risks and is currently working with the Food for Life Partnership to meet the criteria required to achieve the bronze award or above.
Catering Manager Christine Harris said: “The issue has exposed two major flaws in our food system; the lack of traceability of meat and the over-reliance on processed foods.
“By actively seeking the Bronze criteria, the meat we serve in school is fulfilling the requirements for UK Assured Food Standards (AFS). These standards ensure that all meat is traceable back to the farm and meets the UK minimum welfare standards. We can reassure parents that all the beef served in our school lunches is delivered fresh from a local supplier. They have confirmed to us that they use only prime beef cuts sourced from regularly audited suppliers and that their products contain 100% beef at all times.”
Mr James Harris, head teacher added: “Of course, no scheme of food assurance can ever be 100% fool-proof, or immune to corruption by deliberate criminal activity. However, by working with the award scheme framework, we have already made a commitment to improving the traceability, quality and provenance of the food served at our school.”
County Councillor Susie Charles, cabinet member for children and schools, said: “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.”