Council ‘confident’ about its meat

Guardian News
Guardian News
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NOTTS County Council says it is confident it knows where the meat served at schools, day centres and care homes has come from.

The authority issued a statement this week amid growing public concern about the traceability of meat.

A multi-agency investigation has been launched after products labelled as beef and sold in UK supermarkets were found to contain up to 100 per cent horsemeat.

But Notts County Council said it had all the necessary safeguards in place to trace where the meat it buys comes from.

A spokesman said it was ‘confident’ its suppliers were taking ‘all necessary action’ in response to the current situation.

The council uses Maloney’s butchers in Tuxford for most of its fresh meat and catering supplier Brakes for a small number of selected lines.

The meat is used in school meals, meals at home, and county buildings, food dished up at council day centres and residential homes as well as food outlets at the council’s country parks.

“Our two meat suppliers have rigorous manufacturing processes and specifications in place to meet product standards and prevent any cross-contamination. And our robust procurement contracts also ensure that there are strict controls on where ingredients are purchased,” said Notts County Council procurement group manager Steve Carter.

“As our meat suppliers are UK-based, they’re also subject to testing at source by environmental health and trading standards officers.”

He added: “Meat from Maloney’s is supplied to us straight of the carcass from Maloney’s own manufacturing unit in Nottinghamshire, so the butcher can provide us with full traceability.”

Brakes has also reassured its customers that none of its products come from suppliers involved in the recent bad press, but is doing further tests on specific products as an added precaution.

The company confirmed that all of its branded beef product suppliers have positively reconfirmed the source, traceability and processing of their meat.

On average, Notts County Council serves 42,000 meals across 272 primary schools and 30 secondary schools every day.

It also wheels out 1,100 meals at home to older people across the county every day.