All mince products have today (Wednesday) been withdrawn from menus in schools and council-run residential homes in Pembrokeshire after tests on mince beef supplied to the authority discovered horsemeat.

Pembrokeshire County Council is a member of the Welsh Purchasing Consortium (WPC) which enables local authorities to procure collaborately a range of goods and services.

One of these contracts, managed by Caerphilly County Borough Council, is for the supply of meat.

Earlier today WPC members - including Pembrokeshire - were informed by one of its meat suppliers that tests had revealed horsemeat in a batch of frozen minced beef.

Previous samples of mince - supplied by Welsh Bros. of Newport, Gwent – were tested last month and found to be compliant.

The mince may have been supplied to Pembrokeshire schools as well as Council-run residential homes and day centres within the county.

As a result of the announcement by Welsh Bros. all mince products have been withdrawn from menus with immediate effect.

The council said it has received assurances from its other two meat and meat products suppliers – Celtic Foodservices of Pembroke and Preseli Gold, Fishguard – over the traceability of their products.

The Authority has also been made aware that frozen beef products supplied to Sodexo – a company providing catering services to the County Council’ s privately financed initiative school in Pembroke Dock – has also tested positive for horsemeat.

As a result, Sodexo has withdrawn all frozen beef products from its UK catering operations.

Meanwhile officers from Pembrokeshire County Council’s Food Safety and Standards Team are prioritising visits to cold stores, approved meat products and meat processing premises, which have not been inspected in the last 12 months, to check relevant documentation, labelling and traceability etc in line with Food Standards Agency advice.

Samples will be taken if there are any concerns regarding meat authenticity.