Gravesend schools caught up in horsemeat scandal

This Is Local London: The menu on offer at Vigo Village School. The menu on offer at Vigo Village School.

A SCHOOL catering company caught up in the horsemeat scandal provides meals to primary schools in Gravesend, it has been revealed.

Eden Foodservice, which serves seven schools in Gravesham, has today announced six of its dishes have been withdrawn from circulation to test for horsemeat.

Among those supplied by the school are Wrotham Road Primary, Singlewell Primary and Painters Ash Primary in Gravesend.

Gravesend schools Cecil Road Primary and Nursery and St John’s Primary also receive food from Eden, as do Shorne Church of England Primary School and Vigo Village School.

The food firm has supplied lunches to schools throughout Kent since it was awarded one of five catering contracts by Kent County Council (KCC) in 2006.

The company has said it is “confident” its food has not been contaminated with horsemeat, but is withdrawing and testing its beef burgers, sausage rolls, salami, meatballs, sliced roast beef and Cornish pasties.

Eden also confirmed that no dishes have yet been pulled from schools in Kent.

A spokesman said: “The sliced roast beef that has been withdrawn as a precaution is used in a small number of secondary schools elsewhere in the UK for sandwiches and baguettes and has now been tested negative for any equine DNA.

“The roast beef dinners served in Kent schools only uses fresh British Red Tractor top side joints which are cooked on site in the school kitchens.”

However similar products to those withdrawn elsewhere, including Cornish pasties can be found on the dinner menu published on Vigo Village School’s website.

A KCC spokesman said: “We are not unduly concerned. They have withdrawn the mentioned meals on a precautionary basis.

“We respect Eden’s decision and it doesn’t give any cause for concern.”

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