A report which details the action taken by Government, and by the meat industry to drive up hygiene standards in British abattoirs was made publicly available today.
The report reviews the progress made between November 1998 and April 1999 in implementing the recommendations of the Government / Industry Working Group on Meat Hygiene. These were published in September 1997 in the Forward Programmes for the Red Meat and Poultry Industries.
The Agriculture Minister, Nick Brown said:
"The third Review of Progress shows that a concerted effort continues to be made by those involved in all aspects of meat production to further implement the recommendations of the Government / Industry Working Group on Meat Hygiene. It is important that the impetus to fully implement the Working Group's recommendations is not lost. Public health is of the utmost importance and the meat production industry must strive to achieve the very highest standards of hygiene within our slaughterhouses. My officials will continue to work with industry on the recommendations as a matter of priority, and I have asked to see a further progress report in November. "
The main areas of progress reported are:
The Government / Industry Working Group on Meat Hygiene was set up in March 1997 to co-ordinate the drive towards consistently high standards of hygiene in abattoirs. The Group is comprised of representatives from the meat industry, officials from the UK Agriculture Departments, the Department of Health, Department for Education and Employment, meat industry bodies and others. A full list is printed in the Review document.
The Forward Programmes made a number of recommendations aimed at ensuring consistently high standards in abattoirs and poultry plants. The main ones were:
Previous Reviews of Progress detailing the action taken on the Working Group's recommendations between September 1997 and October 1998, were published in July and November 1998. The Government / Industry Working Group's Forward Programmes for the Poultry Industry (PB 3247) and the Red Meat Industry (PB 3248), the Clean Livestock Policy (PB 3250), Clean Sheep for Slaughter' (PB 4102) and Clean Beef Cattle for Slaughter (PB 4103) are all available free of charge from MAFF Publications, Admail 6000, London SW1A 2XX (Tel: 0645 556000).