Food Standards Agency
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Better, more effective meat plant audit reports

The FSA is changing the way audits of meat plants are recorded. A new system, which will improve consistency and ensure the reports are simpler to understand, will come into effect on 29 October 2012.

The key changes include the following:

  • The look of the report has been refreshed and better reflects the relevant areas of legislation that are applicable to the audits.
  • Different parts of the operation will now fall under just one audit, in co-located establishments.
  • Auditors can now link audit criteria to specific regulations. This will provide auditors and food businesses with easy reference to legislation when issues are identified.
  • Questions have been weighted in some sections, based on significance to food safety.
  • Businesses with complex processes or a high throughput but with robust controls and systems in place will be able to reduce their audit frequency to every eight months.

Joined-up working

The new audit reports have been piloted and created in consultation with the meat industry. They are designed to provide meat plant operators with a report which explains scores awarded and corrective action required more clearly.

The FSA routinely publishes meat plant audit reports on its website. The new-look versions will start to appear in late November.

A second more strategic stage of work is underway to review audit arrangements in the longer term. Any changes will be subject to consideration by the FSA Board and a full public consultation.

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