Plymouth City Council and Derriford Hospital get assurances of no horse meat in city food supply
THE city council and Derriford Hospital have reassured the public that there is no horse meat in the meals they provide.
The horse meat contamination scandal started when Irish food producers found it in burgers stocked by supermarkets such as Tesco and Aldi and has since been linked to suppliers across Europe.
A Plymouth City Council spokesperson said: "We provide catering for children and young people in the majority of our city's schools, community meals and residential home catering for vulnerable adults across the city and pride ourselves by providing high-quality meals.
"Our Education Catering Service is proud to hold the Soil Association's Gold Catering Mark Award for our school meals in recognition of our use of fresh, local and seasonal food and ingredients and the fact that we cook our meals from scratch each and every day.
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"Our meat supplier for our school meals and residential home catering provides us with locally sourced produce from two companies within the South West where the meat is farmed on their premises.
"These companies have issued written assurances to our supplier that they provide 100 per cent beef.
"We currently use two additional suppliers for our community meals (meals-on-wheels), both of which have assured us the meat used is 100 per cent beef.
"Tests are being conducted as per the Government guidelines and those that have been tested so far have returned this result.
"All pre-packaged meals used are made in the UK by hand."
A spokesperson for Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust also tried to calm the public's nerves in the wake of information that horse meat was found in beef products in the UK. They said: "Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust wants to reassure the public that we have sought assurance from our suppliers concerning their beef products.
"Apetito has confirmed that all DNA test results carried out by an independent accredited laboratory have been 100 percent clear and all of their beef suppliers have been audited.
"Brakes Group has confirmed that none of their products are affected.
"Scorse Foods has also confirmed that they do not or have not sourced any product from the companies named in relation to these findings and any beef contained within their manufactured products are sourced within the South West from suppliers who solely slaughter bovine animals on site."
Apetito, a supplier used by hospitals in Plymouth, have released a statement laying out the checks they have made on their own products and is available on their website.
They say: "Apetito has never traded, purchased or produced equine products."