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Inspection reports Food
and Veterinary Office
in respect of a Food and Veterinary Office mission to the
United Kingdom from 5 to 9 June 2000 in order to assess the
monitoring of health conditions relating to the production
and marketing of fresh pigmeat
NB. This is a summary
translation of part of the original mission
report (Reference No 1179/2000). It has been
provided to assist visitors to this site, but has
no official status. Reference should always be
made to the full text of the original mission
The Community provisions concerning the
approval of cold stores in which packaged meat is kept have
not yet been incorporated into UK law. A draft amendment is
at the consultation stage.
1.2. Structure of competent authorities
The Food Standards Agency has been the
competent authority as regards
since 1 April
. Like the MAFF previously, it uses the Meat Hygiene
Service (executive agency) to ensure that the regulations
are enforced in the
. These changes in the organisation of the competent
authorities are too recent for an assessment of their
consequences and effectiveness.
1.3. Veterinary supervision
The procedures for issuing and following
up approvals do not ensure that an establishment which no
longer complies with the regulations will have its approval
withdrawn or suspended.
Monitoring of establishments
Supervision by the VMHAs and internal
monitoring by the POVSs are inadequate. In one case they
proved incapable of preventing and rectifying serious
contraventions of the regulations.
The national requirements in terms of
veterinary presence and supervision at approved
establishments are not consistent with Community
requirements. Some of the slaughterhouses approved under
Article 10 of Directive 64/443/EEC carry out slaughtering
operations without an official veterinarian being present.
As part of an agreement between the Commission and the UK
authorities, the latter have undertaken to achieve a
satisfactory number of official veterinarians by the first
quarter of 2001. The schedule for submitting progress
reports in this connection is not always adhered to.
The Hygiene Assessment System (HAS) does
not always reflect production conditions and seems unable
to ensure that establishments monitored in this way will
comply with hygiene requirements.
The problems identified during
day-to-day checks by the official service are not always
followed up by appropriate action on the part of the
Ante-mortem inspections are often
undertaken by auxiliary staff. The recording of results is
not harmonised and varies considerably from one
establishment to another.
Post-mortem inspection at some
establishments is incomplete (absence of certain incisions
Veterinary supervision of the use of the
hygiene mark in the form of labelling and pre-printed
packaging is very inadequate.
Examinations for trichinae
Examinations for trichinae are not
consistent with the Community provisions, particularly in
the case of trade with Member States which do not apply a
derogation from systematic examinations.
Very serious hygiene shortcomings likely
to constitute a public health risk were found in one
establishment, involving personnel, premises and equipment
(see also sections 7 and 8.1.1).
At the other establishments,
shortcomings with varying degrees of seriousness were
observed, concerning operational hygiene and structural
conditions. However, these failings did not constitute an
immediate risk to consumers' health.
The results of self-monitoring are not
always followed up by appropriate remedial action.
Continuous workforce training is not
1.5. Certificates and commercial documentation
The procedures in place ensure proper
1.6. Animal welfare
An effective surveillance system is
applied at the various stages. However, a number of
shortcomings were highlighted (stunning, unloading).
2.1. To the competent authorities
2.1.1. Ensure without delay that measures
are taken to bring the establishment which did not meet
2.1.2. Ensure that the Community
provisions on cold stores are incorporated into national
2.1.3. Ensure compliance with the
agreement between the Commission and the competent UK
authorities regarding the number of official veterinarians
(frequency of report transmission).
2.1.4. Ensure harmonised application of
the provisions on ante-mortem and post-mortem inspections
and hygiene marking.
2.1.5. Ensure compliance with the
Community provisions set out in Council Directive
92/120/EEC concerning examinations for trichinae.
2.1.6. Ensure that the competent
authorities (OVSs, POVSs and VMHAs) systematically take
appropriate and effective action against establishments
which do not comply with the regulations.
2.1.7. Within three months of the end of
the mission, submit an action plan containing a timetable
of measures responding to sections 2.1.2, 2.1.4, 2.1.5 and
2.2. To the Commission
2.2.1. Ensure compliance with the
agreement between the Commission and the competent UK
authorities concerning the number of official
2.2.2. Ensure that the Community
provisions on cold stores are incorporated into UK
2.2.3. Ensure compliance with Directive
64/433/EEC and Directive 92/120/EEC concerning examinations
2.2.4. Take the necessary measures to
inform the Member States about the Community situation with
regard to examinations for trichinae.
Response of the competent authorities to the mission
In a letter to the European Commission
dated 8 August 2000, the competent authorities in the
United Kingdom confirmed that measures had been introduced
in response to recommendation 2.1.1.
The letter explains which measures have
been introduced, which are under way and which are to be
introduced within the time allotted for responding to the
Guarantees were offered on this subject at
the final meeting on 9 June 2000 and confirmed by fax on 14
Inspection reports Food and
FOOD SAFETY |
GENERAL "HEALTH & CONSUMER PROTECTION"