Changes to pig meat inspection in June 2014

Last updated:
25 March 2014
The purpose of this consultation is to seek stakeholder views on the practical application of the changes and to determine whether the FSA's assumptions are a fair reflection of costs, benefits and wider impacts for stakeholders.

Audience

Who will this consultation be of most interest to?
Food business operators (FBOs) in FSA-approved pig meat establishments, pig farmers, officials working in approved pig meat establishments.

What is the subject of this consultation?
UK implementation of directly applicable European Union (EU) legislation that introduces changes to pig meat inspection that apply from June 2014. The changes include the visual inspection of pig carcasses and offal by officials at post mortem; a strengthened process hygiene criterion for salmonella; and a more risk-based trichinella testing regime.

What is the purpose of this consultation?
Our plans for implementation are at an advanced stage, building on extensive discussions we have had with stakeholders, including industry groups and enforcement colleagues. The purpose of this consultation is to seek stakeholder views on the practical application of the changes in NI and also to determine whether the FSA's assumptions are a fair reflection of costs, benefits and wider impacts for stakeholders. The overall objective is to ensure that the controls are proportionate and risk-based, taking into account the latest scientific evidence and information and views from producers and consumers, and continue to provide public health, animal health and animal welfare protection.

Consultation details

From June 2014, directly applicable EU legislation introduces three changes of direct relevance for pig slaughter establishments. They are:

  • the visual inspection of pig carcasses and offal by government officials by default with incision and palpation only used in cases where the Official Veterinarian is of the opinion that there is a possible risk to public health, animal health or animal welfare
  • a strengthened salmonella testing regime
  • a more risk-based trichinella testing regime

The changes are based on scientific evidence from the European Food Safety Authority, which identified that microbiological and parasitic contamination are the key hazards from pig meat and that traditional inspection measures are not effective at controlling these hazards. The changes aim to better protect public health in line with this evidence, and to provide a more risk-based and proportionate system.

The new Regulations were published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 8 March 2014:

  • Regulation 216/2014 of 7 March 2014 amending Regulation (EC) No 2075/2005 laying down specific rules on official controls for trichinella in meat
  • Regulation 217/2014 of 7 March 2014 amending Regulation (EC) No 2073/2005 as regards Salmonella in pig carcasses
  • Regulation 218/2014 of 7 March 2014 amending Annexes to Regulations (EC) No 853/2004 and (EC) No 854/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council and Commission Regulation (EC) No 2074/2005
  • Regulation 219/2014 of 7 March 2014 amending Annex I to Regulation (EC) No 854/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards the specific requirements for post-mortem inspection of domestic swine

Further information

This consultation has been prepared in accordance with HM Government Consultation Principles. If an Impact Assessment (Business Regulatory Impact Assessment in Scotland) has been produced, this is included in the consultation documents. If no Impact Assessment has been provided, the reason will be given in the consultation document.

We are interested in what you thought of this consultation and would therefore welcome your general feedback on both the consultation package and overall consultation process. If you would like to assist us to improve the quality of future consultations, please feel free to share your thoughts with us by using the consultation feedback questionnaire.

Publication of personal data and confidentiality of responses

In accordance with the FSA principle of openness we shall keep a copy of the completed consultation and responses, to be made available to the public on request. The FSA will publish a summary of responses, which may include personal data, such as your full name. Disclosure of any other personal data would be made only upon request for the full consultation responses. If you do not want this information to be released, please complete and return the Publication of Personal Data Form. Return of this form does not mean that we will treat your response to the consultation as confidential, just your personal data.

Publication of response summary

Consultation

Consultation pack: Changes to pig meat inspection in June 2014(2.26 MB)
Read the Northern Ireland consultation