Horse meat found in Edinburgh schools

A BATCH OF frozen mince containing between 1% and 5% horse meat was supplied to a primary school in Edinburgh prior to the product being recalled by distributor 3663.


Eighty-five meat product samples have been taken from the City of Edinburgh Council catering establishments to date and all except one have tested negative for the presence of horsemeat.


Results now available from a sample of frozen beef mince taken in late February from the shared kitchen of Pirniehall and St David’s Primary Schools show that it contained between 1% and 5% horsemeat.


Council investigations have established that mince from this batch was also supplied to a further four primary school kitchens. The council said it is not possible to confirm whether or not mince from this batch was served to pupils prior to the product recall.


Food at the schools is procured by a public-private partnership (PPP) contractor, which sourced the mince form the food wholesaler 3663. On March 8th, 3663 recalled all batches of this frozen mince beef product after one batch tested positive for horse meat.


Since February 14th, scientists at the council’s Edinburgh Scientific Services laboratory have been undertaking a testing programme of meat products under the direction of the Food Standards Agency (FSA) as part of their UK-wide authenticity survey. The laboratory is also carrying out testing of processed meat products supplied to schools, residential homes and other council establishments.


A letter has been sent to parents of pupils at each of the six schools in question, advising them of the test results and reassuring them that there is no risk to health from consuming horse meat.


The results have been reported to the FSA.