Having started on January, 23rd, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) is routinely publishing the full list of those meat plants that, on the basis of their audit reports, are considered 'cause for concern'.
This follows agreement by the FSA Board last year to publish this information as part of the FSA's ongoing commitment to openness and transparency. In January 2012, the FSA began the regular publication of audit reports of approved meat plants in England, Scotland and Wales.
'Cause for concern' is a process developed in response to Professor Pennington's report on the 2005 E.coli outbreak in Wales, which recommended that there needed to be improved management oversight of poorer performing meat plants. The process makes it clear which plants need to improve their standards to ensure risks to public health are kept to a minimum.
There are currently eight premises on the list. This will be updated, initially on a weekly basis, to reflect changes as meat plants move on or off the list.
Tim Smith, Chief Executive of the FSA, said that it was important to highlight plants that continue to give concern. The staff were working to ensure that meat is safe to eat. Smith added that 148 meat plants had appeared on the list since it began in October 2009, and the number currently was standing at eight. This demonstrated that plants could make improvements, and those on the list needed to improve their performance, get themselves out of cause for concern, and then stay out.
If the inspectors decided that hygiene standards in a plant are so poor that public health could be at imminent risk, they would immediately be stopped from operating. However, for those businesses that could improve quickly by following FSA´s advice, they hope that publication of this list will push them to raise their game and get off the list.
Source: Food Standards Agency UK