Authorities in Wiltshire have tried to reassure consumers by confirming that no traces of horse have been found in food supplied to county organisations.
Products were removed from shelves nationally after horse meat was found in beef products sold at supermarkets including Tesco, the Co-op, Lidl, Iceland and Aldi. In one case, a Findus frozen beef lasagne made by a French food processing firm was up to 100 per cent horse meat.
Products at Sainsbury’s, Asda, Waitrose and Morrisons have been withdrawn as a precaution.
The Food Standards Agency launched an inquiry and ordered food firms to test all processed beef products, asking some local authorities to carry out tests.
Wiltshire Council’s Keith Humphries, cabinet member for public health and protection services, said: “We’ve not been asked because we don’t have cold stores and processing plants.
“Everybody is on the case, doing everything we possibly can. Food in Wiltshire is safe. Clearly, there’s been some naughtiness going on at a big scale.”
Catering firm Sodexo supplies food to about 20 Wiltshire schools and has not found any horse meat in its products.
A spokesman said: “Additional testing of beef products has been implemented, to support the assurances we have already received from our suppliers and to underpin our already robust food supply assurance processes.”
Hospitals have sought assurances from suppliers that there are no traces of horse meat in food they serve to patients.
Roger Thomas, the interim director of estates and facilities management at Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Our main food supplier has already confirmed that they have not supplied products or ingredients sourced from any of the meat suppliers cited by the Food Standards Agency, and that all meat products do not contain DNA of any species other than that on the label.”
A spokesman for the Royal United Hospital in Bath said: “Our biggest food supplier immediately commissioned DNA tests on beef raw materials and finished products. Results have shown the meat is 100 per cent clear of any traces of horse.”
Trowbridge firm apetito, which supplies hospitals and care homes, as well as having a Wiltshire Farm Foods home delivery franchise, carried out tests on its raw beef, with the products containing 100 per cent beef.
A spokesman said: “We do not use the French manufacturer implicated in the lasagne incident. All our beef suppliers have been audited by the apetito technical team and apetito has never traded, purchased or produced equine products.”
Wiltshire College’s director of customer services, Stephanie Stephenson, said “The college’s catering contract is with ABM.
“Their main national supplier clearly states they do not knowingly supply meat products from any of the companies under investigation. A very local supplier is used for our meat at Lackham and, when available, ABM also source beef directly from our Lackham Farm herds.”