FSA embarks on pig inspection consultation

Ahead of the new EU pig inspection rules, which come into play in June, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has started a six-week consultation period in order to discuss and explore how the changes will be practically applied.

The new regulations will see a move away from hands-on inspection, and towards a more visual system. The FSA has said that scientific evidence shows that a hands-on method, where the carcase and offal are handled and cut, can help the spread of harmful bacteria.

The change in pigmeat inspection aims to help official veterinarians and meat inspectors better target public health risks, while providing a more proportionate and risk-based inspection regime.

The consultation will run until Tuesday 6 May and is seeking views on the application of the changes and the costs, benefits and wider impacts for stakeholders.

Steve Wearne, director of policy at the FSA, said: “The current system needs modernising. Our meat hygiene controls were developed more than a century ago to tackle the health concerns of the day. A modernised inspection system will protect consumers better and be more proportionate to slaughterhouses that control risks effectively.

“We want to ensure the new controls are proportionate and take into account the views of producers and consumers of pork. We look forward to hearing all of the views that come out of this consultation.”

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