The GMB union has demanded confirmation that food supplied to hospitals, schools and council care services does not contain horsemeat.
Minister David Heath said that he can’t rule out the possibility that horsemeat is being served in schools and hospitals.
The GMB says budget cuts to services encourage a hunt for cheaper meat suppliers—and that this could put people at risk.
Some schools and hospitals contract out the provision of meals to private firms. The government has so far refused to take any responsibility for ensuring that the food is safe.
It says individual schools and councils are responsible.