Sheep meat inspection improvements go on trial

Sheep meat inspection improvements go on trial

A new list of post-mortem rejection conditions is being trialled in a number of sheep abattoirs.

These are conditions which result in all or part of a carcase being rejected for human consumption.

The new list comes as part of a project to improve information exchange between animal producers and meat processors.

The trial, which also involves a new electronic system for the Collection and Communication of Inspection Results (CCIR), is taking place in ten abattoirs across England and Wales.

It is part of a joint project involving AHDB Beef & Lamb and the Food Standards Agency (FSA).

The project has been designed to develop a more efficient and effective approach to the farm-to-fork information cycle, with the aim of improving public health, animal health and animal welfare. The new conditions are the result of a series of workshops on CCIR involving representatives from the meat industry, including producers and processors, which reviewed the data collected by meat hygiene inspectors at post-mortem examination.

Participants in the meetings agreed on a list of rejection conditions to be trialled in a live environment in order to gather feedback from the industry.

To support the overall objective of the project, AHDB has also been working closely with sheep and cattle processors on the use of standardised screen layouts for offal and carcases in cattle and sheep abattoirs, with the aim of facilitating accurate recording of post-mortem data.

AHDB CCIR project co-ordinator Ouafa Doxon said: “It is essential that livestock arriving at slaughterhouses are healthy and that the highest welfare standards are maintained on the farm and at slaughter, both in the interest of consumers at home and for the UK’s reputation in export markets.

“Having an effective system for CCIR is an important part of this and hopefully the developments we are currently trialling will be beneficial for both producers and processors.”

Agreement on the new conditions is expected to be reached by the end of March.

Sheep in a field - photo credit EBLEX

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