Horsemeat scandal: Scotland bans frozen beefburgers in schools
School kitchen in North Lanarkshire finds burger testing positive for horse DNA as Birds Eye withdraws some products
Schools in Scotland have been told not to serve frozen beefburgers, while in Wales supplies to schools in seven local authorities have been withdrawn.
The move in Scotland came after a frozen beefburger from a school kitchen in North Lanarkshire tested postive for horse DNA while in Wales it was discovered that some burgers delivered to schools had been made at the Burger Manufacturing Company (BMC), in Builth Wells, Powys, one of the most recent producers to be caught up in the growing horsemeat scandal.
The developments came as Birds Eye withdrew three beef ready-meals from sale in the UK and Ireland as a precaution after 2% horse DNA was found in its chilli con carne made for the Belgian market.
Local authorities in Scotland were advised to "place a hold" on the use of the products following the discovery in a burger at a North Lanarkshire school kitchen.
The measure also applies to council leisure facilities and some social care establishments.
Scotland's rural affairs secretary, Richard Lochhead, said it was "really unacceptable" that any school child in Scotland should be eating a burger which has got horsemeat in it.
"Of the thousands of tests, this is the first positive result in our schools but it is one too many. No company should be supplying our schools with food with beef products that contain traces of horsemeat."
News of the discovery in North Lanarkshire emerged on Thursday night. The school where the positive test was recorded has not been named.
Lanarkshire local authority said: "The council has notified the Food Standards Agency, as it is required to do, and investigations are continuing.
"Our investigations are focusing on the use of frozen burger supplies during the past three months, the maximum length of time these would be held in storage."
Meanwhile, councils across the country were advised to take frozen beef burgers off the menu as a precaution. The move was confirmed by procurement agency Scotland Excel, which deals with contracts on a national basis.
In Wales, Monmouthshire, Blaenau , Merthyr, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Caerphilly, Powys and Neath Port Talbot councils were affected by the BMC incident. Their school burgers were provided by a food distribution company called Holdsworth Foods , which withdrew BMC burgers as a precaution. Powys council said only five high schools had been affected; Blaenau Gwent, six schools. Caerphilly said it had withdrawn the product from all primary schools.
James Trevithick, of Holdsworth Foods, said that to his knowledge no food it supplied to schools in Wales or England had tested positive so far. The company is conducting its own tests, he said.
In England, Lancashire council last week reported horsemeat DNA in cottage pies made by Oak Farm Foods and a number of local authorities have withdrawn beef products from school menus pending testing.
Birds Eye withdrew Traditional Spaghetti Bolognese 340g, Shepherd's Pie 400g and Beef Lasagne 400g lines because they were made by the same Belgian company Frigilunch, responsible for the chili con carne with equine DNA.
Birds Eye's parent company, Iglo Foods Group, said it had conducted tests on all beef products Europe-wide and only the chili con carne tested positive.
The latest in the apparently non-stop series of revelations of horsemeat in food across Europe came as the Food Standards Agency prepared to publish its latest list of results from horse DNA tests by major retailers and caterers. Last week there were 29 positive results from seven products which were revealed before the full results of 2,501 tests were reported.
Birds Eye apologised to consumers for the "unacceptable" incident in a statement on its website. "The withdrawn products will not be replaced on supermarkets shelves until we have finished our investigations and have complete confidence in this supplier," it said.
The company, like many others shaken by the scandal, has introduced an ongoing DNA testing programme to "help us ensure that we continue to reach the standards that all our consumers expect from our products"
What is this page ? This is demo page to illustrate how data on the web (DBpedia) and associated technologies (RDFa, SPARQL) can be used to create a richer user experience for the reader of a news article.
What is it trying to demonstrate ? It shows that annotating a text ("marking" parts of the text) with identifiers from a data source on the web (here DBpedia, but it could be nearly any data source) allows to query that data source to retrieve extra information that will enrich the user experience in different ways :
- Get the geographic coordinates of places to plot them on a map.
- Get the names of most important entities from the content in the reader's language.
- Get additional information about those entities in the reader's language and display them when the entity is clicked.
What can I do in that page ? You can
- Get an instant "concept summary" of the text in the "Where" / "Who" / "What" section; these lists are automatically extracted from the text annotation. The geographic coordinate of each location is dynamically fetched from DBpedia; the name of each concept in the "who" and "what" section are dynamically fetched from DBpedia. Number in parentheses represents the umber of times the concept appeared in the content.
- Hover your mouse on any underlined word in the text to see all the other occurrences of that "concept" highlighted in the text, and highlighted on the map if it is a location.
- Hover your mouse to a marker on the map to see all the occurrences of that location highlighted in the text.
- Click any underlined word in the text to get a description and a link to wikipedia/DBpedia for it on the right
- Reload the page with a different "lang" attribute to see the information displayed in another language, try it with ?lang=fr, ?lang=it, ?lang=nl, ?lang=de, etc... you get the idea, just put any language code in the URL to get the information displayed in that language. English will be used if the information in that language does not exists.
- Get additional information about those entities in the user's language and display them when the entity is clicked.
Where does the article comes from ? The original article was published by The Guardian here on the 22nd of february.
Why did you do that ? For fun. For my ego. To demonstrate what I can do (I work as an independant consultant). For anyone needing to show the benefits of the "web as a database".
Can I reuse that page ? Yes, save the page and tweak it. You need to credit its original author (me). Please remove the Google analytics script code once you downloaded the page.
I have a comment / a question ! Cool. See that blog post.
How was the article annotated ? Manually. Purpose is not to demonstrate how to annotate efficiently an article, but what can be done once it is annotated.
How did you found the right URIs in DBpedia ? With the DBpedia lookup service.
Is there a server-side component that does all the work ? No. This is a plain HTML page.
... <span rel="dc:subject" resource="http://dbpedia.org/resource/Birds_Eye"> Birds Eye </span> ...Then various SPARQL queries are issued to DBpedia endpoint using the JSONP result format, to get geo coordinates and labels.
Will it work with my content ? Sure. "Right-click > Save as", and then replace the content with yours, provided that it contains RDFa annotations like the one shown above. You can use the DBpedia lookup service to find DBpedia identifiers.
Will it work with other datasources ? Not all of them. The SPARQL endpoint needs to support JSONP. Virtuoso supports this, Sesame will in its next release (2.6.11)