REVIEWS of beef suppliers have been carried out by the School Meals Service and at Isle of Man Prison to ensure the ingredients are as stated.
It comes amid an escalating Europe-wide scandal which has revealed that horsemeat is being sold as beef.
In the island, it has seen products, including two types of beef burger, being taken off the shelves at Tesco’s Douglas store.
The Department of Education and Children’s school meals service caters for the island’s primary schools. A spokesman said two products – pepperoni slices and mini Cornish pasties – were suspended on a precautionary basis pending checks with suppliers.
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The DEC has now received written assurance from its supplier which states that all relevant suppliers of processed meat have provided a statement declaring that all of their products have been tested and are ‘as stated’.
The spokesman added: ‘Nearly all beef-based dishes served by the school meals service are made of good quality Manx meat.
‘The school meals service does not use any of the branded products so far found to contain horse meat instead of beef.’
Pepperoni slices, used on pizza, and mini Cornish pasties, featured in some schools’ salad bars, were the only beef products on the menu that come from outside the island.
Isle of Man Prison governor Alison Gomme said: ‘In view of the ongoing concerns about contaminated beef, Isle of Man Prison has reviewed food supplies and menu cycles. The majority of main meals served in the prison are cooked using raw ingredients that have clear traceable origins. All raw beef is Manx beef.
‘There are processed products on the menu cycle (burgers, pies, sandwich fillings, pasties, some sausage, pizza toppings). We will only serve those products which our suppliers have confirmed have been tested and declared free from any contamination.
‘This may cause alteration to the menu cycle whilst we achieve this confirmation, and we would hope that the disruption is minimal.’
Prisoners may continue to choose from a menu cycle, which always included non-meat options.
Meanwhile, the Manx Independent asked the Department of Health whether any food items had been withdrawn from the two hospitals, and how much of a concern the issue was among patients.
A DoH spokesman said: ‘The Department of Health uses 100 per cent audited Manx beef for its in-house prepared meals across all services. The department’s catering teams have very close working relationships with suppliers, coupled with annual “source of produce” audits as part of the assurance process.
‘The department does, on occasion, buy ready-made products containing beef, such as pasties, however the vast majority of the department’s beef products – including burgers – are sourced locally and are produced and cooked by the catering teams.’
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Tuesday 21 May 2013
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