The Food Standards Agency (FSA) and Food Standards Scotland (FSS) met with trade bodies representing all facets of the UK meat processing sector over recent non-compliance investigations.
Present at the meeting were Association of Independent Meat Suppliers, British Meat Processors Association, British Poultry Council, Farmers’ Union of Wales, Hampshire Game, International Meat Trade Association, National Association of Catering Butchers, National Federation of Meat & Food Traders, Northern Ireland Meat Exporters Association and Scottish Association of Meat Wholesalers.
The meeting was held following enforcement action taken by the FSA and FSS. This included a suspension of production at wholesaler Russell Hume and unannounced inspections at suppliers DB Foods and Fairfax Meadow which led to the withdrawal of products.
In a joint statement, the FSA and FSS said:
“The discussion was constructive and engaging with all in the meeting agreeing the need for close collaboration and co-operation between regulators and industry in responding to the issues raised by recent events.
“As regulators and industry bodies we have a shared interest in making sure that consumer trust in the UK meat industry remains high. The food chain depends on trust and we want people to be confident that the meat they enjoy has been produced to the highest standards.
“We recognise that some concerns have been uncovered by recent regulatory inspections. In most cases businesses involved have taken actions to demonstrate compliance and continue to trade normally. Where those concerns were serious, enforcement procedures have been put in place.”