FSS demands change to bill on meat safety standards
Food Standards Scotland (FSS) have vocalised concern about details of the Retained EU Law Bill, stating that consumers could face major safety risks when eating food products, including meat, if no changes are made.
The Bill was announced in January 2022 to facilitate “the easier amendment, replacement, and repeal of retained EU law” in relation to food safety and standards.
The retained EU law currently obligates businesses to label for allergens and provide clear food information to consumers. It also restricts the use of decontaminants on meat, for example chlorine washes on chicken, as well as setting maximum permitted levels of chemical contaminants in food.
At its most basic level, the retained EU law requires businesses to maintain minimum levels of hygiene and to recall food that is unsafe.
FSS chair Heather Kelman said this Bill’s current form poses a “significant risk” to Scotland’s “ability to uphold the high safety and food standards which the public expects and deserves.”
In its response, FFS explained that the Bill, officially published on Thursday 22nd September 2022, would result in the removal of consumer protections relating to food, which have applied in Scotland and the rest of the UK for many years.
It said: “Even if high legal standards continued to apply in Scotland, the Internal Market Act 2020 means that there would be no way of stopping goods from elsewhere in the UK being sold in Scotland produced under lower legal standards.”