Frozen beef taken off the menu in schools

Frozen beef burgers, beef meatballs, mince and sausages have been taken off the menu in school kitchens across Argyll and Bute.

The council says it is following the advice of procurement agency Scotland Excel and ‘taking a precautionary approach’ as the horse meat scandal continues to spread.

A spokesperson said: “Like other Scottish local authorities, the council buys frozen meat products through Scotland Excel, which is in talks with suppliers about the authenticity of their meat products.

“Suppliers have been carrying out independent testing on a national basis and regular updates are provided.”

Today (Friday) Scotland Excel advised all Scottish councils to place a hold on the use of all frozen beef burger products.

She added: “As a precautionary measure, and along with other Scottish local authorities, we have stopped using frozen beef burgers, beef meatballs, mince and sausages with immediate effect.

“Alternative products have been identified to ensure that a choice of nutritionally balanced meals continues to be available in schools.”

Environmental health officers are said to be working with other councils and the Food taken to prevent material from species not declared on labelling from being incorporated into products.”

Traces of horse DNA have been found in a beef burger in a North Lanarkshire school, leading to the advice from Scotland Excel.

And Renfrewshire Council has withdrawn products from the Brakes group, after horse DNA was found in lasagne produced for a pub company.