Food Law News - UK - 2000

FSA Press Release (2000/0047), 2 October 2000

Independent Investigation Commissioned into Events Surrounding Closure of Herefordshire Abattoir

The Food Standards Agency has formally commissioned an independent investigation into a complaint from Mead Webber Ltd. about the alleged unsatisfactory performance of the Meat Hygiene Service (MHS) at the company's abattoir at Eardisley, Herefordshire, in April this year.

This follows recent confirmation of the complaint by Mead Webber Ltd., and the company's agreement to the two members of the panel who will assist its chairman with the investigation. The Meat Hygiene Service has been asked for a written response to the complaint, on which Mead Webber Ltd. will be invited to comment before all the papers are passed to the panel for consideration - including consideration of the need for any oral hearing.

The date, time and place of any oral hearing will be published. Any oral hearing would be held in public, although the chairman of the investigation would be able to go into private session if there were good grounds for doing so.

The investigation panel will comprise:

The arrangements have been agreed by both parties. When the investigation has been completed, the panel will submit a report and recommendations to Geoffrey Podger, Chief Executive of the Food Standards Agency. The report and recommendations will be published, as will the Agency's response.

The terms of reference of the investigation are:

Mead Webber Ltd. operated a medium-sized abattoir that specialised in the slaughtering of sheep.

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