More than two-thirds wanted processed beef products removed from school menus despite government assurances that the meat is safe. And about 85 per cent believed they knew enough about the controversy to decide what their children should eat.
However, only a third of parents wanted whole-beef products such as steak and mince removed.
The survey of 500 parents in York was carried out by the city's new unitary council. It wanted help to decide whether or not to lift the ban imposed by the old authority, North Yorkshire County Council last month.
The Government's announcement of a link between BSE in cows and the human CJD in March had caused about 70 per cent of local authorities to ban beef from school menus.
But a National Farmers' Union spokesman said children should eat British beef: "We would urge all education authorities to think again about any attempts to ban beef when measures and controls of the industry have been in place for years and there is no definite proven link between BSE and CJD."