PARENTS of schoolchildren in Hampshire are being reassured that there is no horse meat in their meals.

Following concerns that horse has been found in some supermarket meat products, Hampshire County Council has announced that the beef used by its catering service, for school meals and in its care homes, is 100 per cent beef.

The council provides 8.5 million meals each year to people in its care, which contain locally sourced ingredients such as Hampshire beef and pork. Meatballs and beef burgers on the school lunchtime menu are produced by Laverstoke Park Farm near Overton, containing 100 per cent beef.

Councillor Ken Thornber, leader of Hampshire County Council, said: “As we are serving around 45,000 meals each day to Hampshire pupils we have to be very sure about food safety. We take the food chain back to source by looking at where the food comes from.”

He added: “Our Hampshire Scientific Service check at source all the suppliers of food provided by the County Council, and carry out stringent checks throughout the year, from supply to kitchen and all the stages in between, which also include verifying the authenticity of ingredients. We are unique in that few other local authorities do this.”