Some beef supplies to four Plymouth military bases pulled after horse meat find
A CATERING firm which supplies four military bases in Plymouth has withdrawn all frozen beef products after it found horse meat in one batch.
But the French company, Sodexo, said that none of the suspect meat found with equine DNA came to its Plymouth customers.
Sodexo provides catering, retail and leisure services at the Royal Marines Barracks Stonehouse and Bickleigh, the Royal Citadel and HMS Raleigh.
Sodexo is the latest company to be hit by the scandal, which has seen a number of household brands removing beef products from the market.
Sales of some frozen beef products have collapsed since the Irish Food Safety Authority said in mid-January that it had found horse meat in beefburgers destined for British supermarkets.
A Sodexo spokesperson said: "To reassure our customers, Sodexo has decided to withdraw all frozen beef products from its UK catering operations with immediate effect.
"Sodexo has had a proactive programme in place to ensure that there is no horse meat in its supply chain.
"We demanded written assurances from across our supply chain that the products we purchase did not contain horse meat, and additionally implemented an internal sampling programme.
"Despite repeated guarantees from our suppliers, our sampling has identified frozen beef products which tested positive for equine DNA. This situation is totally unacceptable."
She said the Plymouth bases did not receive products from the batch that tested positive for equine DNA.
"We felt the only appropriate response was to withdraw not only this product but all frozen beef products. We will only re-admit into our catering operations products that have affirmatively passed DNA testing."
Sodexo has told the Food Standards Agency of its findings and launched its own investigation.
"Food safety, traceability and quality remain the top priority for Sodexo and this is why we have taken these steps," the spokesperson said.
A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said: "Sodexo is one several suppliers used by the MoD. In light of last week's announcement by the Food Standards Agency, all Sodexo products which may have been contaminated have been withdrawn.
"Sodexo do not supply any food to Afghanistan.
"All produce delivered to the frontline or to ships on operational deployments is free from any contamination.
"All MoD food suppliers are complying with the Foods Standards Agency direction to test produce and we are monitoring the results closely."