Beef removed from Staffordshire school menus

Councillor Mark Winnington said the authority wanted to be careful "with our children's diets"

Beef has been removed from school meals across Staffordshire as a precautionary measure amid the horsemeat scandal.

The county council, which provides meals to 87% of its schools, said there was no suggestion there had been a problem with contamination.

In the meantime, pupils are being served other meats such as turkey.

The county council said the move was a precaution and added "normal school menus" were likely to return after next week's half-term break.

Several processed meat products have been withdrawn from sale across the UK after horsemeat was detected.

Mark Winnington, the council's cabinet member the environment, said the authority was taking a "belt and braces approach" to the situation.

He said they had "every confidence in our suppliers" but said there would be further testing to make sure.

'Concerns understandable'

He added: "We want to be absolutely sure the products we're supplying to schools are what they purport to be."

Councils in Birmingham, Coventry, Wolverhampton and Shropshire said they had not withdrawn beef from their school menus.

Worcestershire County Council said it was up to individual schools to make their own decisions.

A spokesperson for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said: "It is understandable that there will be concerns, but there is no evidence that any of the horsemeat found in food poses a danger to humans."

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