The British Meat Processors Association (BMPA) has welcomed invitations from the Food Standards Agency (FSA) for the industry to take the lead in devising alternative methods of meat inspection.
In its response to the Farming Regulation Task Force report on ways to reduce regulatory burden on farmers and food processors, the FSA confirmed its earlier rejection of recommendations to set up a group to consider the criteria for accepting meat inspection by third parties.
Despite the rejection, the FSA has called on the industry to demonstrate the feasibility of alternatives to the current method, which would require changes to EU legislation. EU law is responsible for prescribing meat inspections for its members, which are currently carried out by FSA in the UK.
In a bid to reduce costs, the BMPA is developing a proposal for an alternative approach to the current method and is calling for the use of approved private sector accredited bodies to inspect well performing plants.
The FSA acknowledged that the current regime was "a bit last century" but expressed concerns of the viability of a changed system to fit in with EU legislation and not dilute the tight food safety controls currently being provided.
Source: British Meat Processors Association (BMPA)