Food Law News - UK - 2002

FSA Letter, 21 August 2002

HYGIENE - Draft Animal By-products (Identification) (Amendment) (England) (No2) Regulations 2002 - Proposal to remove option of sterilisation

The FSA are seeking comments on the above mentioned legislative proposals which would further amend the Animal By-Product (Identification) Regulations 1995 (ABPI Regulations). The following documents were attached to the letter (and are available on the FSA website):

The deadline for responding to this consultation is Monday 30 September 2002. The FSA recognise that the period for consultation is less than the 12 weeks normally recommended for consultations. The shorter time-scale for consultation is necessary as there is an urgent need to strengthen further the anti-fraud controls to reduce the potential for the diversion of unfit meat into the food chain. The Agency's aim is to bring the new legislation into force by the end of the year. The Agency also gave advance notice of these proposals following the recent amendments in July to the ABPI Regulations.

The recent amendments to the ABPI Regulations were to require the staining or sterilisation of:

Similar legislation applies in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The Agency has decided to further amend the ABPI Regulations to remove the option for sterilisation because of the potential for sterilised (i.e. cooked meat) unfit meat to be diverted back into the food chain.

Legislative proposals

The FSA are therefore proposing to amend the ABPI Regulations to:

The removal of the sterilisation option would apply to red meat, poultry meat and wild game meat by-products for all premises which fall under the scope of the ABPI Regulations, leaving only the staining option. This amendment would apply to:

However, the FSA are proposing the inclusion of regulation2 (6)(b) which would exempt from the requirement to stain those animal by-products which are rendered or incinerated, at the premises covered by the ABPI Regulations (i.e. an animal by-product premises; or a cold store, cutting premises, or slaughterhouse which is licensed under the meat hygiene regulations, or a game processing facility (includes licensed farmed game facilities and all wild game meat plants) in accordance with the Animal By-Products Order 1999 (ABPO). Where rendering or incineration facilities are outside the curtilage of the premises covered by the ABPI Regulations, animal by-products produced in those premises would have to be stained before being moved to the rendering or incineration facility.

Blood is outside the scope of ABPO, except under limited circumstances were it is a 'high risk' by-product if it comes from animals which during pre-slaughter veterinary inspection, show clinical signs of disease communicable to man or animals. However, under the current requirements of the ABPI, such blood is not required to be stained. The changes proposed to the ABPI Regulations (regulations 2(4) and 6(b)) would require blood which falls under the 'high risk' category under ABPO, to be stained.

The definition of 'staining' in the ABPI Regulations currently applies to 'high risk' animal by-products which are solid in nature. The Agency will be reviewing further the definition of 'staining' with regards to blood.

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