Norfolk school meal providers confident lunches will not contain horse meat

Safe: School meal providers in Norfolk insist their lunches will not have been contaminated as part

Safe: School meal providers in Norfolk insist their lunches will not have been contaminated as part of the horse meat scandal - Credit: PA

School meals in Norfolk do not contain any horse meat, the county's main provider insisted last night.

The reassurance follows fears raised last week that some suppliers of public sector food – including that served in schools and hospitals – could be involved in the scandal which has affected a number of supermarkets and frozen food firms.

Last night Norfolk County Council-owned Norse Catering said parents and children had no need to worry. But it said investigations were taking place to officially confirm all meat used by its suppliers could be traced back to British farms.

A spokesman for Norse, which caters for 307 primaries and 14 high schools in Norfolk, said it had received written assurances from all its meat suppliers that they had no links with companies involved in the scandal, adding: 'In addition to the written statements and as an extra measure, Norse Catering, through its procurement contractor, is also tracing every meat product back to source to independently verify suppliers' assurances that these products do not come from any suppliers or factories implicated.'

Norse stressed that its school lunches were all made using fresh or frozen meat and it never used ready-made meals.

'Both the fresh and frozen meat is sourced in the UK. In fact, the fresh meat is supplied locally by a Norfolk butcher,' the spokesman added.

Norse also sought to further reassure parents about the overall quality of its meals.

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Mark Emms, Norse's commercial director, said: 'Our school meals are enjoyed by tens of thousands of Norfolk children every day, and we take this responsibility very seriously indeed. Our school meals are healthy, balanced and nutritious, and, of course, follow strict standards.

'This means parents can be confident their children are enjoying a healthy and tasty lunch.'

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