Food Standards Agency
An open letter to those working in the meat industry in Wales
In these unprecedented times, we have published the following open letter thanking those working in the meat industry in Wales for their co-operation.
To those working in businesses across the meat industry in Wales
In these unprecedented times, we want to thank you all for working with the Food Standards Agency (FSA) to enable your meat processing and our meat inspection to continue in businesses up and down the country in the most challenging of circumstances.
The importance of the meat sector to the food supply chain has never been more apparent, and the vital role of those working in it has never been more evident.
We are hugely grateful for the co-operation from industry and individual businesses we have had in responding to the COVID-19 outbreak and this collaboration will be even more important in the coming weeks and months.
We want to set out the steps that the FSA has taken so far to protect consumer interests and animal welfare whilst supporting businesses to produce safe food.
Engagement with industry
The FSA has been leading the ongoing co-ordination and engagement with industry and other government departments while subsequent high-level meetings have also been led by CEO Emily Miles.
Further engagement across the industry with key players will continue to address emerging issues and to ensure a consistent approach across the country.
We have also published guidance for food businesses on COVID-19 (Opens in a new window)as well sending more specific advice to meat sector businesses in Wales.
Being ready to provide the controls but with significant staff absence
We have implemented a number of measures to minimise the impact on businesses. These follow clear principles to ensure they are temporary, are applied as consistently as possible, and will continue to protect food safety and animal welfare. They include:
- Prioritising our activity: including deferring scheduled audits for sites with higher audit outcomes (good and generally satisfactory) until the end of June to maximise resources.
- Using existing legislation to support a reduced FSA workforce: these include using other qualified individuals to carry out roles and extending some inspection deadlines to maximise resources. We have also identified authorised FSA staff who are able to return to the front line as well staff who can be redirected from other Government agencies, such the Animal and Plant Health Agency.
- Assessing additional measures under temporary legislation: last week, the European Commission brought out new regulations which will allow us to be even more flexible about the way the FSA operates controls. We are currently developing proposals to take advantage of these flexibilities, should they be required.
We also wish to express my gratitude to those meat businesses that have risen to the significant challenge that social distancing presents at their sites, and who have been looking after the health and safety of the FSA workforce who are there.
There is no ‘one size fits all’ solution to this problem and we know each and every site will face different issues in how they implement these measures. We continue to work with sites to assist them to deliver these arrangements in the most practical way possible, to allow your staff and our staff to maintain food production and meat inspection at their premises.
These will continue to be challenging times for all staff working in the meat industry and our local Field Managers are always available for further discussion to ensure we meet the needs of businesses at this time.
We would like to thank the industry for the many acts of great co-operation so far in responding to this challenge.
Dr Colin Sullivan, COVID-19 Incident Director
Martin Evans, Acting Chief Operating Officer
Latest News from
Food Standards Agency
FSA publishes its Annual Report and Accounts for 2019/2002/07/2020 15:38:00
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has today published its Northern Ireland Annual Report and Accounts for the past financial year. The report covers our performance and activities in 2019/20 across England, Wales and Northern Ireland at a net cost of £112.6 million.
Food Standards Agency blog launches30/06/2020 16:51:00
Food Standards Agency yesterday launched their official blog.
Insufficient evidence for vitamin D preventing or treating acute respiratory tract infections30/06/2020 13:38:00
The Scientific Advisory Commission on Nutrition (SACN) and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) yesterday published their rapid reviews exploring the role of Vitamin D supplementation in reducing the risk of Acute Respiratory Tract Infections (ARTIs) and the prevention and treatment of COVID-19.
Covid-19 Consumer Tracker waves one and two report published25/06/2020 13:38:00
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) yesterday published the findings for waves one and two of the Covid-19 Consumer Tracker.
FSA Board pays tribute to food and feed industries for ‘an outstanding job in keeping food on the shelves’22/06/2020 14:25:00
The COVID-19 pandemic was one of the main topics of discussion as the Food Standards Agency (FSA) Board met this week for the first time since 11 March.
Primula recalls all Primula Cheese tubes because of Clostridium botulinum19/06/2020 12:08:00
Primula Ltd is recalling all Primula Cheese tubes, (chilled and ambient) because the product might be contaminated with Clostridium botulinum due to a production fault.
FSA publishes updated allergen guidance to reflect changes to labelling laws19/06/2020 11:43:00
Updated technical guidance follows changes to food allergen labelling which come into effect from October 2021.
Dr Ruth Hussey is appointed Food Standards Agency Deputy Chair18/06/2020 11:43:00
The Secretary of State for Health has announced the appointment of Dr Ruth Hussey CB, OBE, DL as Deputy Chair of the Food Standards Agency. Her appointment begins on 1 July for three years.