New pig inspections a positive move, says FSA

New pig inspections a positive move, says FSA

Legislation which aims to modernise and improve food safety for inspections in pig slaughterhouses has been voted for by European member states.

A number of measures have been agreed which include an increased focus on microbiological hazards, which are the main food safety risk from meat. A more proportionate risk-based approach to hygiene and welfare inspections, known as official controls, is to be introduced.

FSA welcomes changes to system

Veterinary director at the FSA, Liz Redmond commented: “We welcome these changes to the current system. We think they will be better for consumers and meat businesses. With a greater focus on tackling the more harmful pathogens found on pork, consumers should have even more confidence in the safety of what they are buying. For food businesses this is a very positive step towards more risk-based and proportionate regulation in the future.”

What do the changes involve?

The changes include: strengthened salmonella controls in pig slaughterhouses; reduced trichinella testing where other controls are in place; and reduced carcass handling to minimise cross-contamination.

A review of controls across Europe is looking at an array of systems, some of which were developed over 100 years ago, with a focus on modernisation.

The new legislation agreed this week is expected to come into force in June 2014. Further changes for poultry, sheep and cattle meat inspection are also planned and are likely to be published within the next year.

Full details of the review of meat hygiene inspection in slaughterhouses can be found here.

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