Food Standards Agency
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FSA and AHDB continue work to help industry deliver better health and animal welfare

We have been working with the meat industry to design, trial and implement a new system to gather and communicate meat inspection results data for future industry use to improve public health, animal health and welfare. This work started in November 2015.

About the initiative

In partnership with the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), other government departments and key industry players, we have already revised the list of conditions to be recorded by Meat Hygiene Inspectors (MHI) in abattoirs. These new lists have been purposefully designed to enable Food Chain Information and Collection and Communication of Inspections results data to be easily converted into actionable information for farmers and the meat industry.

FSA programme lead Ramon Romero said: ‘The aim of this initiative is to help us work better with livestock producers and processors to ensure better public health and animal health and welfare. Improving the exchange of accurate and reliable data will allow producers, farmers and the FSA to respond quickly and to act upon it.’

To date, the FSA has introduced an IT platform for MHIs to record and communicate the results and implemented the new set of conditions nationally with only pigs and wild game remaining to be completed at the beginning of the year. Many industry members have also designed IT systems that will be integrated with ours to ensure correlation and immediate aggregated data, enabling them to act upon it as soon as possible.

John Royle, Chief Livestock Adviser said: ‘The industry has long called for consistent and accurate abattoir feedback on key production diseases and conditions. We applaud the FSA for providing the leadership and adopting a genuine partnership approach to deliver CCIR for the industry. We know this will take time to deliver across all processing businesses but the benefits for livestock producers could be significant as we all seek to maintain profitable businesses at a time of much uncertainty.’

Improving traceability

The next step in achieving a successful exchange of post-mortem data is to make sure there is a robust animal traceability in processing establishments. The FSA and the industry need to have confidence that the conditions recorded by Meat Hygiene Inspectors in abattoirs properly relate to the animals presented, ensuring we report back to the right producers and Veterinarians.

We are currently exploring with AHDB and Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) different traceability and reporting methods in various abattoirs in England and Wales, seeking to utilise and enhance existing processes to reduce the unnecessary use of industry and FSA resources. 

More information

If you’re interested in getting involved or finding out more please email iris@foodstandards.gsi.gov.uk or come along to the next Veterinary Public Health Association conference on Saturday 5 November 2016 in Peterborough. You can register by following the ‘External sites’ link on this page. 

 

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