Still no date set for horse DNA talks

1st March 2013 at 00:00

The summit being convened by the Scottish government after horse DNA was found in a school meals burger will take place "in the very near future", say officials. But when TESS went to press, no date had been set.

Horse DNA was found last week in a frozen burger at Cumbernauld High in North Lanarkshire, prompting Scotland Excel, the procurement organisation that serves local authorities and the public sector in Scotland, to advise councils not to use any of its current stocks of frozen beef products, including frozen beef mince.

This follows its previous guidance to place a hold on the use of all frozen beefburgers.

Scotland Excel stressed that the advice was a "purely precautionary measure" and that no other samples of frozen beef products had returned a positive result.

However, Scottish ministers announced on Sunday that a meeting with councils would be held as soon as possible to discuss how to improve the quality of food served to pupils.

In East Ayrshire a local butcher prepares school burgers to the council's own recipe. This was something the government wanted to see more of, said rural affairs secretary Richard Lochhead who, along with education secretary Michael Russell, has invited councils to meet.

Meanwhile, school meals blogger Martha Payne commented on the scandal at the weekend, saying: "We should change what we eat if we don't know what it is or where it comes from."

emma.seith@tess.co.uk.

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