Horsemeat: Assured meat in schools

Schools across England are being offered help with purchasing assured beef and lamb to make sure students are eating good-quality meat, as the horsemeat scandal continues to unfold.

Eblex has discussed the value of Red Tractor assurance and its own Quality Standard Mark (QSM) with the Local Authority Caterers’ Association (LACA) and its 500 local authority, school and catering members in the UK.

Both Red Tractor and QSM labels can reassure the schools, parents and students that the meat is traceable, as the purchasing of processed or frozen meat products have gone down in favour of fresh, local red meat.

“Provenance of products is important for consumers, and independent auditing – which is already a key requirement of both the Red Tractor and QSM assurance schemes – is central to ensuring consumer confidence at a time when trust in some of the meat products they are buying has been shaken,” said Hugh Judd, foodservice project manager at Eblex.

He explained that parents wanted to know what their children were eating and that the food was of good quality and traceability.

“Eblex has its own assurance schemes for beef and lamb, as well as working closely with the Red Tractor scheme. All three are familiar and trusted assurance brands. We are therefore perfectly placed to help caterers supplying local authority schools source assured fresh meat for their meals if they do not already do it and would like to but are not sure how to go about it.”

Eblex is urging companies that supply school dinners to prove that their meat is of high standard and from a traceable source.