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Food Standards Agency responds to recent meat hygiene breaches

Posted: 21 February 2018 | | No comments yet

In the wake of a handful of highly-publicised concerns over food hygiene practices at meat processing plants, the FSA, FSS and meat industry figures have released a joint statement.

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MEAT OF THE MATTER: Russell Hume said that the FSA had created 'impossible trading conditions'

The Food Standards Agency (FSA), Food Standards Scotland (FSS) and representatives from the British meat industry met yesterday to discus recent high-profile incidents of ‘non-compliance with food hygiene regulations’ at meat cutting plants.

The meeting came just one day after Russell Hume, supplier to restaurants and pubs across the UK, went into administration, saying the FSA had created ‘impossible trading conditions’ for it to work under.

Meat was prevented from leaving Russell Hume sites in January after unannounced FSA audit on one site exposed concerns over non-compliance with food hygiene regulations which led to a wider investigation across all sites and cold stores.

Russell Hume is one of a number of meat cutting plants who caused the FSA and Food Standards Scotland concern during unannounced visits. 

Both Muscle Food and Fairfax Meadow announced recalls earlier this month after inspections raised worries over their or their supplier’s use-by-date practices.  

Following the meeting between the FSA, FSS and meat industry reps yesterday, a joint statement was issued.

It read: “The discussion was constructive and engaging with all in the meeting agreeing the need for close collaboration and co-operation between regulators and industry in responding to the issues raised by recent events.

“As regulators and industry bodies we have a shared interest in making sure that consumer trust in the UK meat industry remains high.  The food chain depends on trust and we want people to be confident that the meat they enjoy has been produced to the highest standards.

“We recognise that some concerns have been uncovered by recent regulatory inspections.  In most cases businesses involved have taken actions to demonstrate compliance and continue to trade normally.  Where those concerns were serious enforcement procedures have been put in place.

“We will continue to work together to support meat businesses in fully understanding what is expected of them in relation to current regulations and ensuring full and effective industry engagement with the forthcoming FSA/FSS review of cutting plants and cold stores.”

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