EDUCATION bosses in Bolton are reassuring parents that no food has had to be withdrawn from the school menu.

It comes after tests on cottage pies delivered to 47 Lancashire schools were positive for horse meat. The county council has now withdrawn them.

A Bolton Council spokesman said: “The majority of schools — 108 — have a contract with the council’s catering services to provide school meals.

“We have spoken to all its suppliers and have received assurances that they have not had to withdraw any meat products.

“The council follows a stringent food procurement policy and suppliers are able to trace all their meat products from field to fork. However, 16 schools have their own arrangements, so we are unable to comment on their supply chains.”

Pub and hotel group Whitbread became the latest company to admit horse DNA had been found in its food, saying meat lasagnes and beefburgers had been affected. The firm, which owns Premier Inn, Beefeater Grill and Brewers Fayre, said the products had been removed from menus and will not be replaced until the results of more tests.

Burgers containing horsemeat have also been supplied to hospitals in Northern Ireland. The Royal Bolton Hospital says its meals have not been contaminated.

Heather Edwards, head of communications, said: “We have checked with suppliers and received assurances that the beef products we receive have not been contaminated with either horse or pork.”