Hundreds of schools take beef off the menu following collapse in confidence over horsemeat scandalStaffordshire councillors say dishes
such as cottage pie will not be servedBan will remain in place while doubts remain over horsemeat scandal
Daily Mail Reporter
01:44 GMT, 15 February 2013
04:02 GMT, 15 February 2013
Beef has been taken off the menu in hundreds of schools as a precautionary measure amid a collapse in confidence in processed food.
Staffordshire councillors say dishes such as cottage pie will not be served while doubts remain over possible horsemeat contamination.
Tests are being carried out on beef meals served at schools and hospitals around the country for the presence of horsemeat.
Concerns: Beef has been taken off the menu in hundreds of schools as a precautionary measure amid a collapse in confidence in processed food. This is a file picture
The move in Staffordshire is indicative of a wider collapse of confidence in meat, major supermarkets and big brand foods triggered by the growing food fraud scandal.
It emerged last night that steak burgers have been removed from school menus in Northern Ireland after traces of horsemeat were found.
And polls have revealed that shoppers are turning away from processed meat, while there has been a surge in sales of fish and meat from local butchers.
The decision to take beef off the menu in 350 Staffordshire schools was taken by the council’s cabinet member for the environment, Mark Winnington.
Banned: Staffordshire councillors say dishes such as cottage pie, pictured, will not be served while doubts remain over possible horsemeat contamination
BURGERS MADE BY FORMER MCDONALD'S SUPPLIER RECALLED
Thousands of burgers made by a former supplier to McDonald’s are being recalled after they were found to contain up to 30 per cent horsemeat.
The four-ounce burgers, made by Irish firm Rangeland Foods, are being recalled after tests found horsemeat in beef supplied by Polish company Mipol.
Rangeland, which stopped supplying McDonald’s in 2007, made the burgers in September and sold them in western Europe.
Government ministers have offered repeated assurances that the presence of horsemeat is a problem of fraud and labelling, rather than safety. But Mr Winnington, a Conservative councillor, said:
‘While this story continues to be in the news it seemed sensible to offer an alternative meal, where beef is not Farm Assured and sourced in the UK.
‘While there is absolutely no suggestion that there is any problem with any of the beef supplied we wanted to take a belt and braces approach, but expect to see beef back on the menu after half-term.’
Consumer confidence has been badly shaken by the scandal, with 45 per cent of shoppers saying they will avoid buying meat from Tesco, Asda, Co-op, Iceland, Aldi and Lidl, according to an ICM poll for Retail Week.
A separate poll by GMI found that 36per cent have been frightened away from buying processed meat.
And one in 20 has been put off the idea of buying any type of meat.