Headteacher: ‘No risk to human health’ after beef taken of school menus

A south Northants headteacher is reassuring parents no child was in danger after a school meal supplier warned Northants County Council they had found traces of horse meat in their products.

Ian Colling, headteacher at Magdalen College School in Brackley said steps taken to remove beef products from 17 schools in Northants, including his own, were ‘precautionary’ after tests carried out by suppliers uncovered traces of horsemeat.

Northants County Council was advised by its supplier on Friday afternoon that traces of horsemeat had been identified in one of ten tests undertaken nationally on a frozen minced beef product.

In a statement NCC said although the tests were not on a sample of beef sent to the county, as a precautionary measure they would remove all beef products from school menus.

The council has also removed beef products from its staff canteens which use the same supplier.

Mr Colling said: “We understand that the beef that tested positive for horsemeat was not from Northamptonshire supplies and understand the measures that are being taken are precautionary.

“We also believe that there is no risk to human health but nevertheless support the measures being taken.

“We will do our utmost to keep parents and students informed should there be any further news on the issue.”

Councillor Andrew Grant, NCC’s cabinet member for children and learning said: “We understand these tests relate to a later supply of beef mince following an earlier written assurance by our supplier that all beef products had been fully tested and were cleared.”

Mr Grant added: “We will keep the situation under review and provide further advice during the week. Until further notice we are instructing Nourish catering staff in those schools and in our staff canteens not to serve beef products.”

Beef including beef mince in the remaining 199 primary schools using the Nourish service has been confirmed as clear from any contamination of horsemeat through full authenticity checks.

The council oversees the production of 14,000 school meals each day in primary and secondary schools through its Nourish catering service and supplies approximately 65 per cent of the county’s schools with school meals.

While 14 schools have been supplied with beef mince from the supplier, there are 17 schools who regularly receive supplies from this company. Consequently all 17 schools have been contacted today by the council to advise them of the situation.

Schools which have purchased beef mince

· Moulton Science College

· Magdalen College School

· Campion School

· Prince William School

· The Elizabeth Woodville School

· Danetre & Southbrook Learning Village

· Kingsley School, Kettering

· Wren Spinney Community Special School

· Northgate School

· Billing Brook Special School

· The Gateway School

· The Good Shepherd Catholic Primary School

· Denfield Park Primary School

Schools which haven’t purchased beef mince but use the same supplier

· Rushden Community College

· Thomas Becket School

· St Luke’s Primary School