School dinners in Medway to be tested for horsemeat
Medway's school dinners are being
tested for horsemeat.
Chartwells, which provides school
dinners across the Towns, is understood to have written to all
clients including Medway Council saying it has begun a
“comprehensive and independent” DNA testing programme on all its
processed meat products.
The results are not yet known.
It comes after Chartwells’ parent
company, the Compass Group, was implicated in the national row over
horsemeat masquerading as beef.
The firm said it supplied a
Rangeland burger product containing horse to “a small number of
sites in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.”
A Medway Council spokesman urged
for calm, saying: “We can assure parents and families in Medway
that strict standards apply to all the meals served in our
"All our nominated suppliers have
to meet those high quality and safety standards.
“Chartwells asked all of their meat
suppliers to re-confirm their compliance with the required
traceability, testing and hygiene processes.
“This confirmation has been
received from all of their current UK nominated meat suppliers, who
have also verified that all of their meat products adhere to the
required standards and specifications.”
Meanwhile three restaurants across
the Towns, including two popular pub grub destinations, are likely
to have sold two products containing horse.
Britain’s biggest hotel and
restaurant operator, Whitbread, which owns Premier Inn, Beefeater
and Brewers Fayre, confirmed its lasagnes and beef burgers were
Medway has three Whitbread outlets
suspected of serving horsemeat, including the Premier Inn at the
Medway Valley Leisure Park in Strood.
The other two are the Manor Farm
Beefeater in Rainham High Street, which is part of a Premier Inn,
and the Honorable Pilot Brewers Fayre at the Gillingham Business
Park, which is also part of a Premier Inn.
A statement by Whitbread said: “We
are shocked and disappointed at this failure of the processed meat
To date the Food Standards Agency
has tested more than 2,500 products for equine DNA, with 29
emerging as having more than 1% horsemeat.
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