The Food Standards Agency (FSA) and Food Standards Scotland (FSS) have published a series of recommendations for the meat processing industry that are intended to improve compliance and assurance.
A six-month review has been carried out after a number of high-profile compliance issues were highlighted at cutting plants. The aim was to explore the underlying issues, rather than just the symptoms, to find ways of delivering positive change.
In total, the review made 19 recommendations for industry and regulators. Among them was a need for the industry to focus on skills and capabilities. That could mean more organisations look at providing new food hygiene training in the UK.
Other suggestions included greater data transparency and sharing across industry and the regulators, as well as the meat processing industry being more involved in producing clear guidance to meet the needs of food businesses.
Jason Feeney, chief executive of the FSA, thanked the industry for participating so fully in the review.
“There are good reasons why the meat industry has specific controls in place protect public health and provide assurance about the authenticity of meat products on the market,” he asserted.
The decision to carry out a review was taken in February after two businesses - Russell Hume and 2 Sisters Food Group - came under investigation for failure to comply with food hygiene regulations, and prompted questions about the overall standards within the sector.