No horse meat found after Derby City Council checks processing plants
TRADING standards officers at the city council have checked Derby's four main meat processing plants in the light of the horse meat scandal.
The authority's trading standards team joined colleagues across the UK on high alert, following the recent discovery of horse meat in some processed foods.
Officials have now confirmed no horse meat has been found in the city.
Investigations are already taking place in 28 local authority areas – such as Derbyshire but not including Derby – as part of work demanded by the Food Standards Agency.
But Doug Walkman, of the council's trading standards team said: "Although we are not one of the 28 selected authorities, we have immediately responded by checking with all four main meat processing plants in the city and none are affected."
Councillor Hardyal Dhindsa, portfolio holder with responsibility for trading standards, said: "Derby City Council prides itself on taking a pro-active approach to this type of issue.
"Officers are working to identify any areas of concern and deal with them accordingly. In challenging economic times such as this, it may be that meat processors have looked for cheaper sources of meat and been sold something they didn't expect.
"However, all businesses must have robust procedures in place to ensure the food they sell is correctly described. Businesses which fail to do this could be committing serious criminal offences."
Mr Dhindsa also sought to reassure parents children had not been exposed to the tainted meat products.
He said: "Derby City Council has worked with our school meals contractor, Chartwells, to confirm sourcing of meat products has not been impacted by the current horse meat scandal.
And Glenis Willmott, MEP for the East Midlands, has called for the scandal to be discussed at the European Parliament on Monday.
Anyone with concerns about fraudulently-described meat products should contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 08454 405060.