FSA to research new meat inspection system

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is seeking a contractor to carry out research to explore a new system where plant staff would act as spotters, flagging up carcase and offal defects before inspection by Official Veterinarians or Meat Hygiene Inspectors.

An FSA statement said that, by reviewing meat controls, it aims to improve public health, animal health and animal welfare protection by adopting a more risk- and evidence-based approach to meat production.

An FSA spokesman said: "The idea is to assess if slaughterhouse managers and staff increase their accountability to produce ‘cleaner’ carcases when they are responsible for checking for contamination, for rectifying and removing it, and for identifying the root cause of the contamination. They would also flag up abnormalities to facilitate the work of official inspectors.

"It is about improving what the meat industry should be already doing under their own food safety management systems."

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