Sussex councils could be forced to hand over meat samples to the Food Standards Agency to check if they contain horse.

The FSA is conducting a survey of 28 local authorities to see if they contain horse meat, it said over the weekend.

Yesterday (February 10) a spokesman from the agency refused to confirm which councils would be forced to hand over meat samples but said that they would be take from local authorities “all over the country and at random”.

The spokesman said the samples would include food from schools and hospitals.

He said the issue was also currently one of labelling “not of danger”.

The Argus contacted West and East Sussex county councils, Brighton and Hove City Council and the hospital trusts about horse meant.

An East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust spokesman said: “Our meat is sourced locally from British Premium Meats with over 85% of the meat purchased coming from Kent and Sussex farms.”

West Sussex and East Sussex county councils said they had received the all clear from their suppliers.

At the time of going to press, The Argus had received no other responses.

Meanwhile a joker at Bairds Farm Shop in Climping, near Bognor, placed a sign outside which said: “Our beef burgers are pure bred not thoroughbred.”

Members of Sussex Horse Watch spoke of their disgust with a number vowing to “never eat lasagne again” after Findus Beef Lasagne was found to be 100% horse meat.

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