On 1 February, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and Food Standards Scotland (FSS) announced that they would be undertaking a review of meat cutting premises and cold stores. The review, which will be established later this month, comes in the wake of serious non-compliance issues identified at cutting plants operated by 2 Sisters Food Group and Russell Hume and will be industry-wide.
In the last six months, the FSA and FSS have faced two serious incidents involving major players in the meat sector. People rightly expect food businesses to keep to the rules, rules designed to keep consumers safe and to sustain public trust in food – and food businesses have a duty to follow the regulations.
In the light of these recent incidents, the FSA and FSS will be taking forward reviews of cutting plants and cold stores used for meat. Further details will be published later this month and the results will be fully available to the public.
Cutting plants are wholesale butchery establishments engaged only with the cutting of meat and boning out of carcases.
Slaughterhouses, Cutting Plants and GameHandling Establishments require veterinary control in accordance with Article 4(7) of Regulation (EC) No 854/2004 and must be approved by the FSS in Scotland and FSA in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. However, unlike slaughter houses, cutting plants do not require veterinary control on a daily basis and are inspected through periodical and unannounced visits by the FSA, FSS or local authorities.