Horse meat scandal - council to carry out sampling
By Carol_Deacon | Saturday, February 16, 2013, 12:55
COUNCIL environmental health officers in North Somerset are to carry out sampling of meat products following the international horse meat scandal.
Puxton Park butchers who have built their reputation on good quality and locally sourced meat is hosting an open day
Bakers farm shop is open Monday-Friday 7am-5pm and on Saturday 7am-12.30pm. Established in the 1960s this butchers shop at North Street offers an array of fresh local meats with weekly special offers. Orders on 01275 856280
Authority leaders confirmed this week that its officers are to investigate the supply chain of meat products used in food supplied to the area's hospitals and to schools still under the control of the council.
The move followed the discovery that foods sold in Europe and the UK labelled as beef contained horsemeat.
Concerns were initially raised last month after food inspectors announced they had found horsemeat in some ready prepared meals stocked by UK supermarket chains,
Some products - including some brands of lasagne and spaghetti bolognese - have been withdrawn from supermarkets as a result of the findings and a Government inquiry is now underway, although it is maintained there is no health risk from eating horsemeat.
Twenty eight authorities across the country have been asked to carry out food sampling by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) as a result of the scandal.
Although North Somerset has not been asked by the FSA to carry out sampling, the authority is to carry out its own checks.
The council, which employs contractor Edwards and Ward to supply the majority of its school meals, says it is confident in the quality of products supplied to students and patients.
Testing will not be carried out by the authority at academies across the district, which make their own catering arrangements.
Council spokeswoman, Zoe Briffitt, said: "We will not be testing meat at butchers or takeaways as this issue is more to do with meat products where different meats have been mixed into a single product.
"We will however be investigating the supply chain for meat products being used at Weston hospital and in some schools.
"We have already received confirmation from our main school meal caterer Edwards and Ward that they only use quality products from audited EC supplies for their beef burgers.
"They do not use frozen beef products on any of the school menus.
"We feel that sampling some products will help us reassure the public of the quality of meals they may be receiving."
Butchers across the district say they have seen an increase in customers since the scandal broke.
Butcher Adrian Goodhind, aged 46, works at Bakers of Nailsea which has been trading in the area for more than 100 years.
Mr Goodhind, a butcher of 30 years, said: "We source all our meat locally and all our animals come from North Somerset and we have our own abbattoir a quarter of a mile up the road.
"We have seen an increase in customers since the issue with horse meat in the food chain was first raised.
"People are concerned about where their meat is coming from and seem to have started moving away from supermarkets and back to local butchers where they can be sure of where their meat comes from."
An animal farm near Weston-super-Mare is also holding an open day onSaturday in a bid to quash fears over the horsemeat scandal.
Puxton Park, which has its own Gerald David butchery department, will be offering people a rare chance to see behind the scenes of the department to help restore confidence in the meat market.