10:09am Wednesday 20th February 2013
By Freya Leng
INITIAL food testing in Worcestershire schools has found no traces of horse meat, it has been confirmed.
Tests were carried out by Worcestershire County Council's Scientific Services at a lab in Wainwright Road, Warndon, Worcester, this week.
A spokesman said they were carried out as a precautionary measure following the news a cottage pie, which tested positive for horse meat, was delivered to schools in Lancashire.
The product has since been withdrawn from 47 school kitchens.
Paul Hancock, Worcestershire County Council's public analyst and scientific advisor for scientific services, said: "A decision was taken earlier this week to proactively test meal samples from a number of schools throughout Worcestershire and we expect to have the full results of this exercise next week.
"The analysis on the initial samples are complete and Worcestershire Scientific Services can confirm that of the eight samples so far tested, all are negative for equine (horse) DNA.
"We are one of a small number of local authorities across the country who have a specialist scientific testing facility and we feel it is appropriate that, in light of the recent horsemeat issues we should conduct these food tests both to re-assure parents and to help schools ensure that the meals they provide are of the required standard."
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