PARENTS are being reassured that no horse meat has found its way into Hampshire school dinners, in the wake of revelations about supermarket ready meals.

Hampshire Councy Council says much of the beef and pork used in its meals is locally sourced – some from Overton.

The county council provides 45,000 meals each day for schoolchildren.

Meatballs and beef burgers on the lunchtime menu come from Laverstoke Park Farm near Overton, which contain 100 per cent beef.

County council leader Councillor Ken Thornber, said: “As we are serving around 45,000 meals each day to Hampshire pupils we have to be sure about food safety.

“We take the food chain back to source by looking at where the food comes from and we also carry out strict hygiene and cleanliness checks in school kitchens to ensure that the meals served to children remain of the highest standard.”

“In addition, our Hampshire Scientific Service checks at source all the suppliers of food provided by the county council and carries out stringent checks throughout the year, from supply to kitchen and all the stages in between, which also includes verifying the authenticity of ingredients.”

Tesco this week became the latest retailer to drop a major supplier after discovering its range of Everyday Value Spaghetti Bolognese ready meals contained more than 60 per cent horse meat.

It followed frozen food firm Findus and Aldi in finding the meat in products made by French firm Comigel and joined them in dropping the company as a supplier.

Tesco issued an apology last month after tests discovered traces of horse in burgers from an Irish supplier.

Findus, which has taken its beef lasagne made by Comigel off shelves after some were found to have up to 100 per cent horse meat in them, said it was considering taking legal action against its suppliers as an internal investigation “strongly suggests” that the contamination “was not accidental”.

Environment Secretary Owen Paterson this week told the House of Commons it appeared that “criminal activity”

had been at the heart of the horse meat scandal.