COUNCIL chiefs have been busy ensuring school children in Halesowen and Sandwell are eating horse free meat.

Sandwell Council’s health supremo councillor Paul Moore has declared food served in residential homes, meals-on-wheels and schools under its control “horse free.”

The council is also writing to academies in the borough to offer advice over insuring food served does not include horse after the scandal which has swept Europe.

Dudley Council’s cabinet member for children's services cllr Tim Crumpton said: "The health and well being of our school children is of paramount importance to us and we work hard to ensure meals are healthy and nutritious.

“We have checked with our suppliers who are confident that all their beef dishes are as specified."

Sandwell Council cabinet member for health councillor Paul Moore is determined to ease public concern after a raft of food manufacturers were caught peddling horse to unsuspecting consumers.

He said: “I have sought assurances from all our suppliers who provide meals for schools, residential homes, and meals-on-wheels that products with traces of horse meat supplies have not been served.

“If this situation was to change we would act swiftly and decisively.”

With more schools opting out of council control and becoming academies the council now not responsible for all the meals served to schoolchildren in the borough.

Cllr Moore said: “I've contacted those academies in the borough, who are outside of the council's catering contracts, to seek assusrances over their arrangements as we have no control over what food they source for school meals.”

Residents in council run residential and social care homes will also get letters explaining the food they are eating is safe.

Cllr Moore added: “I wanted to reassure these residents that they had nothing to worry about concerning the food they were eating after this very public scandal.”

Last week cllr Moore had to issue urgent warning to shopkeepers in Sandwell after several were not heading Findus Foods recall notice for lasagne containing 100 per cent horse.

He said: “Consumers have right to expect when they buy produce that contain processed beef they are getting what it says on the label”