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Beef off school menus as caterer Chartwells pulls some meals amid horsemeat crisis

School pupils about to be served spaghetti made using minced beef
School pupils about to be served spaghetti made using minced beef

School pupils about to be served spaghetti made using minced beef

by Chris Price

Exported beef is off the menu for thousands of children across
the county after a school dinners firm pulled some of its meals
amid the horsemeat scandal.

Chartwells confirmed several processed beef products had
been withdrawn and the company was only using meat sourced and
processed in the UK or Ireland.

The company is among the school catering contractors used by
both Kent County Council and Medway Council for scores of

It delivers 57 million meals a year to pupils nationally,
providing a service to 1,479 primary schools and 500 secondary

Briary Primary School in Herne Bay is one of the schools
affected and has no beef meals on its menu this week.

Head teacher Ben Cooper said: "Along with other schools who use
Chartwells, I am pleased by the lengths Chartwells are going to
ensure the integrity of the products they provide is

A Chartwells spokesman said: "In light of recent events, we have
taken the decision to use only processed beef products where the
beef has been sourced and processed in the UK and Ireland, for the
foreseeable future.

"As a result of this decision, we have withdrawn a small number
of processed beef products from our range.

"We have also begun a comprehensive and independent DNA testing
programme across all of our processed meat products."

The spokesman added: "The traceability and quality of our food
is our top priority.

"All of our nominated suppliers have to meet strict food quality
and safety standards and they regularly undergo independent audits
to ensure these standards are upheld.

"In addition we have asked all of our meat suppliers to
re-confirm their compliance with the required traceability, testing
and hygiene processes.

"We have received this confirmation from all of our current UK
nominated meat suppliers, who have also verified that all of our
meat products adhere to the required standards and

Brakes Group.
Brakes Group.

Kent firm Breaks supplies
food to the catering trade across Britain

Last week, a Kent food giant was forced to apologise after horse DNA
was found in one of its lasagnes.

Brakes - one of the biggest UK suppliers to the catering trade -
confirmed a meat product produced for one of its customers had
tested positive for equine DNA.

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