Onus on industry to solve meat inspection issue

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is to push ahead with its controversial plans for full-cost recovery while putting the onus on the meat industry to find a feasible and financially viable alternative model for meat inspection. 

At an open board meeting this week, the FSA said the meat industry was best placed to take the lead in initiating and funding an alternative and promised “appropriate support”. It said that any alternative model would need to demonstrate that it could work in practice, provide the same or preferably an increased level of public health protection, and be of similar or lower cost than the current delivery system.

However, it maintained that the focus was on shaping the future system of meat controls at a European level while reducing the cost associated with the current system.

Richard Griffiths, senior executive officer at British Poultry Council, said that the proposal was much as industry had expected.

He said “The FSA board had to do something to satisfy the comments made in the MacDonald Report, so asking the industry to come up with an alternative delivery model isn’t an unreasonable approach and probably a good option for us collectively in order to move the issue forward.”

However, he said that there had not been any positive commitment to adopt alternative models that the industry may propose.

He said: “I think they’ll consider it, but they have resisted the alternative delivery model for so long, I cannot see them picking it up easily now.”

Earlier this week, the British Meat Processors Association (BMPA) announced that it would be developing a more detailed proposal to be put to the FSA in a bid to enable the use of approved private sector accredited bodies to carry out inspections in consistently competent meat processing plants.

>BMPA proposes meat inspection reform

>Anger at FSA board response


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