BMPA proposes meat inspection reform

A bid to put more meat on the bones of a proposal to source an alternative approach to the delivery of official meat inspections is under way.

The British Meat Processors Association is leading the way in developing a more detailed proposal to be put to the Food Standards Agency in a bid to enable the use of approved private sector accredited bodies to carry out inspections in consistently competent meat processing plants.

The proposal is in line with a key recommendation of the recent independent Farming Regulation Task Force, chaired by Richard Macdonald.

The BMPA is proposing the FSA would remain the competent authority, retaining responsibility for approval of plants, audits and enforcement, and Official Veterinarians would remain under the control of the FSA.

Meanwhile, the FSA would delegate inspection tasks to approved private sector accredited bodies in consistently competent plants.

Stephen Rossides, director of the BMPA, said: “The FSA has made clear its view that the onus lies on the industry to make a case for an alternative delivery system. We are ready to take up this challenge, and welcome the FSA’s offer to provide appropriate support as we develop the industry’s case.”

An FSA spokesman said: “We welcome this proposal by the BMPA. The FSA is asking the Board on the 7 September to endorse an approach where we will encourage industry to make the case for effective alternative delivery models and this is what the BMPA is doing. We look forward to seeing more detail from the BMPA when available.”

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