Council reassure about school meat supplies

NORTHUMBERLAND County Council issued an assurance about the sourcing of its meat for schools in the county as the furore over horsemeat continues.

The county council has moved to allay fears about the sourcing of its meat for schools, following concerns raised by the Conservatives.

Group leader Coun Peter Jackson claimed that it was ‘widely rumoured’ that meat was being sourced from Eastern Europe and Africa and that the current horsemeat scandal put these concerns to the fore.

He said: “On the one hand, the council is promoting local produce to support local people in the local economy.

“Yet I fear that the reality is that, just as Tesco has been found to be selling imported horsemeat, our council is merely going for the cheapest, rather than looking at the quality of its supply.”

But a spokeswoman for the council said: “We supply meals to 54 per cent of schools in Northumberland and 95 per cent of main meals are made on site from freshly prepared produce. We do not buy in processed meat products such as lasagne.

“We can assure you that all meat has been sourced locally via one single meat supplier based in the north east.

“Our procurement team works with trading standards, catering officers and environmental health teams within the region to ensure the safe procurement of meat with full traceability.”