Audit of meat establishments

The FSA carries out routine audits of approved meat establishments (that is slaughterhouses, cutting plants and game handling establishments) in Britain. In Northern Ireland, these audits are carried out by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) on behalf of the FSA.

These audits have two main aims:

  • to make sure that food business operators are complying with food law requirements
  • to ensure that food business operators are meeting relevant standards in relation to public health and, in slaughterhouses, animal health and welfare

How often are audits carried out?

When determining how often we audit a business, we look at the type of processes carried out, the throughput and the food business operator’s record of compliance.

The greater the potential risk to public health and, in slaughterhouses, to animal health and welfare, the more often we will audit. The audit frequency currently varies from at least once every 2 months, to 3, 12 or 18 months (slaughterhouses only). Audits and follow-up audits are carried out on an announced basis, with unannounced inspections also taking place in between scheduled inspections in cutting plants.

Reviewing audit

The FSA has recently carried out a strategic review of audit arrangements and introduced a new audit system in August 2014. The FSA worked collaboratively with the meat industry to develop the new audit system, and proposals were agreed by the FSA Board in July 2014, after a public consultation.

As part of the audit changes, the FSA now has a dedicated and in-house team of employed skilled and trained veterinary auditors carrying out audits in Britain. This team is separate from routine official controls and inspections.  In Northern Ireland, the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development carries out audits for the FSA.

If you would like to find out more about the FSA's audits of approved meat establishments, look at Chapter 4.2 of our Manual for Official Controls (via link further down page).

Publication of audit reports

The most recent audits for FSA approved meat establishments in England, Scotland and Wales, and, from November 2012, for Northern Ireland, are published at the links below. These are as issued to the food business operator, but we have taken out potentially sensitive information (such as personal details) and detailed technical information.

We have listed establishments by their approval number, name and type (red or white meat slaughterhouse, red or white meat cutting plant or approved game handling establishment), their town, county and country.

The links below will take you to separate Excel worksheets. You will need to enable the macros in order to open them. Instructions are in the worksheets. Clicking on the links in the final column of the worksheets will take you to the individual audit report for the selected establishment.

We update the audit reports on the FSA website on a monthly basis (typically towards the end of each month). This means we replace establishments’ audit reports with the most recent audit reports and the frequency we do this for an individual establishment depends on how often that establishment is inspected during the year. Food business operators may appeal audit findings via a two stage process. They have up to 14 days to appeal an audit at the stage 1 appeals process following receipt of an audit report and 7 days should they disagree with the FSA investigating Officers decision and wish to appeal at stage 2 which is investigated by an independent investigator. FBOs can only request a Stage 2 appeal following two successive audits which have been appealed at stage 1 and the FBO is not satisfied with the outcome. Only the second successive audit qualifies for a stage 2 appeal review.  The FSA won’t publish an audit report on the website before this time has passed and the audit finalised .

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