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Horse meat found in frozen beefburgers in Scottish schools


10:59, February 23, 2013

EDINBURGH, Feb. 22 (Xinhua) -- Horse meat has been found for the first time in food bound for local schools in North Lanarkshire, southern Scotland and the tainted frozen beefburgers have already been banned, local media reported on Friday.

North Lanarkshire Council, one of Scotland's biggest local authorities, has confirmed traces of horse DNA were detected in a frozen burger testing last week, the online Herald Scotland reported.

It immediately withdraw all similar frozen burgers from its 122 primary schools, 24 secondaries and 11 schools for children with special needs, according to the report.

It is the first Scottish local authority to confirm a beef product in a school kitchen contained horse meat, raising concerns about other foods being tainted, it added.

Some beef products supplied by food distribution firm Brakes Group were tested after the group confirmed horse DNA was detected in lasagne the firm produces.

Scottish Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead said it was unacceptable that tainted burgers had been supplied to the schools.

"However, North Lanarkshire Council has taken immediate action to withdraw the product from the schools and as a precautionary measure all Scottish schools have been advised to put a hold on the use of frozen burgers," he added.

"Of the thousands of tests, this is the first positive result in our schools but it is one too many. No company should be supplying our schools with beef products that contain traces of horse meat," he noted.

In Wales, supplies to schools in seven local authorities have been withdrawn, said a separate Guardian report.

The horse meat scandal started in mid-January when Irish food inspectors detected horse meat in frozen beef burgers made by firms in Ireland and Britain and sold in supermarket chains including Tesco, Britain's top retailer.

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