Food Law News - UK - 1997
19 November 1997: MEAT HYGIENE - Taxpayers May Save Money on Meat Inspections
MAFF Press Release (359/97), 19 November 1997
Taxpayers May Save Money on Meat Inspections
Taxpayers may no longer have to pay for checks by meat hygiene inspectors to make sure Specified Risk Material (SRM) is removed from beef, sheep and goat meat. The Government will consult on new plans to charge the meat industry for Meat Hygiene Service inspection work to check SRM controls. The new charge for checking SRMs will save the public over £40 million a year.
The announcement was made by Food Safety Minister Jeff Rooker today. He said:
"The Meat Hygiene Service plays a very important food safety and quality control function in the meat industry. From 1 January 1998, our strict controls on the removal of specified material, which already apply to cattle, will be extended to cover sheep and goats.”
Jeff Rooker made the announcement at a European Standing Committee debate in the House of Commons. The Government will publish draft legislation proposing the new arrangements shortly. Industry and other interested parties will have the chance to comment on the proposals.
Strict inspections of the quality of meat hygiene will continue. Meat for human consumption cannot be sold without a meat hygiene inspector's approved health mark. The Meat Hygiene Service (MHS) already charges slaughterhouses and cutting plants for its inspection and approval services.
Mr Rooker said:
"Without the MHS seal of approval - the health mark - meat cannot be sold for human consumption."
The following notes are added:
- Legislation implementing new EU rules on the removal of Specified Risk Material from beef, sheep and goat carcases comes into force on 1 January 1998. The UK already has strict controls on beef that go beyond European standards.
- Legislation implementing charges on slaughterhouses and cutting plants to pay for increased inspection costs on SRMs is expected to come into force on 1 April 1998. The draft legislation should be out for consultation in early December.
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