SCHOOL dinners are being tested for traces of horsemeat.
Wrexham Council and Flintshire Council have confirmed samples of beef served in its schools, leisure centres and residential homes are been checked in the wake of news that leading supermarkets have been selling products with up to 100 per cent horse content.
The scandal has prompted some shoppers to avoid big chains altogether and opt for smaller, local retailers and butchers.
Arwel Staples, interim head of procurement for Flintshire Council, confirmed the authority was carrying out “additional checks” with its suppliers and “no issues had emerged”.
“However, we are liaising with our suppliers in order to carry out further checks,” he said.
And Wrexham Council assured residents it has procedures in place to ensure the food it is providing “to schools, the elderly and others is safe and of the quality and standard that it is labelled as”.
A council spokesman said the Food Standards Agency has not asked the authority to conduct its own tests, but manufacturers’ tests so far have confirmed there has been no contamination.
A spokesman for the authority’s school meals catering service said: “The service would like to assure all parents, pupils and staff that all of the meat products on our school menus are of the highest quality and have not been affected by this issue.
“We have contacted all of our suppliers of meat products to gain assurances and can confirm that we have no contaminated or affected products on our school menus.”
A spokesman for Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board said all raw meat used by the board is sourced through the national NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership’s (NWSSP) Procurement Services.
He added: “They carry out a regular programme of testing and have issued assurance that all the tests carried out since the start of their testing programme in 2006 have been negative for horsemeat.”
Products such as bacon and sausage, canned meats and cooked sliced meats for the NHS in Wales are covered by independent third party food safety audits, as are contracts for frozen and chilled ready meals and sandwiches.
The spokesman said: “Declarations have been received to demonstrate that no products purchased through these contracts have been affected.”