The purpose of the regulations is restricted to implementing Directive 95.68 and to making some minor changes to tidy up the parent regulations. Departments will consult separately on any proposals to amend meat products legislation in the light of the Pennington Report or of any recommendations from the Fatal Accident Inquiry into the Lanarkshire outbreak of E coli O157.
Council Directive 95/68 amends Directive 77/99/EEC on meat products which is implemented into GB law via the Meat Products (Hygiene) Regulations 1994. Member States were asked to implement this legislation by October 1996. There was a consultation on draft Regulations to implement 95/68 in August 1996 and again informally in November 1996.
In the first consultation, respondents expressed particular concern that two provisions of the Directive, the requirement to health mark the lid or body of the can, as opposed to applying it to the label, and the requirement for commercial documents accompanying meat products beyond the first stage of marketing to bear the health mark of the consigning meat products premises, would cause logistical problems for the meat products industry in Great Britain. In recent months, officials have reviewed the draft Regulations originally consulted on, in the light of new Government policy objective of giving priority to consumer safety and public health. The consequential changes of approach now proposed make a fresh consultation necessary.
Most of the amendments oar of a technical nature, either reflecting existing best practice or supplying a welcome clarification to the previous Directive. There are four more significant proposed amendments:
The consultation letter provides more details of these issues. Responses are required by 31st July 1998