FSA to bring MHS inhouse

The Meat Hygiene Service is set to be taken in-house by the Food Standards Agency (FSA). The FSA has announced that planning for the merger between it and the MHS, which is currently an executive agency of the FSA, will commence shortly, with the operational work of the MHS forming the core of a new FSA Operations Group.

Tim Smith, chief executive of the FSA, said: “The FSA and MHS have been working for some considerable time to bring the two organisations closer together. Excellent progress has been made in modernising the frontline MHS operational services and its management structure, and also on integrating the FSA and MHS corporate service functions.

“Our next step is to plan for the formal merger of the two organisations and the creation of a new FSA Operations Group, with the work of the MHS at its core.”

Formal processes need to be undertaken to begin the merger, including further discussions with the FSA Board and agreement from Ministers and others.

These discussions are set to get under way and the FSA said a more detailed timetable will be published later in the year.

It is expected that the move to the new arrangements will start from April 2010, with a further year needed to fully complete the transition process.

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