Animals should be inspected by food business operators at slaughterhouses to ensure that they are clean and that those that those that present an unacceptable risk of contamination are not slaughtered for human consumption unless they have been cleaned beforehand. FSA operational staff carry out verification checks of operator procedures at the ante-mortem stage . To prevent the contamination of meat and reduce risks to public health, the FSA will reject for slaughter any animal that does not meet the required standard of cleanliness.
To aid consistency the Meat Hygiene Service, former Executive Agency of the FSA, developed a Clean Livestock Policy for cattle and sheep intended for slaughter.
The criteria for identifying the cleanliness of cattle and sheep is separated into five categories, ranging from clean and dry to filthy and wet. Only livestock in categories 1 and 2 (clean and dry/slightly dirty and dry/damp) could proceed to slaughter for human consumption without further action being taken.