Meat hygiene improves in UK

Related tags Livestock Meat Uk food standards agency

The UK meat industry has witnessed a general reduction in
non-compliances in meat hygiene teams this year, a Food Standards
Agency report reveals this week.

There has been a general reduction in non-compliances in meat hygiene teams this year in the UK meat industry, a new report reveals this week. The annual report, published by the UK Food Standards Agency, sets out the results of 150 audits which took place between April 2000 and March 2001 on the performance of Meat Hygiene Service (MHS) hygiene and inspection teams at licensed plants. This relates to the first year of the Agency's existence and also its first year as the parent organisation of the MHS.

The audits check that MHS operations, practices and activities complied with requirements of the MHS Operations Manual. The MHS were found to be performing well in: the application of the Clean Livestock Policy; ensuring the health mark was not applied to contaminated meat; ante-mortem inspection of red-meat; notifiable disease procedures and official veterinary certification duties.

The report highlighted key areas for improvement in MHS performance. These included the enforcement of hygiene controls and structural requirements for premises;The monitoring of operators' own checks, especially water testing and checks on cleaning; post-mortem inspection of poultry; pre-slaughter inspection of poultry; and the enforcement of animal by-products legislation.

The Meat Hygiene Service became an executive Agency of the Food Standards Agency in April 2000. The responsibilities of the MHS cover the enforcement of domestic legislation in relation to meat hygiene, inspection and animal welfare in licensed fresh meat, poultry meat and game meat establishments, and also in integrated premises producing meat products, meat preparations and minced meat.

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