The Food Standards Agency (FSA) in the UK and Food Standards Scotland (FSS) have proposed recommendations to UK meat processors in conclusion of a six-month review of the industry that investigated non-compliance issues after various high-profile food hygiene issues were brought to light.

The review aimed to identify ways companies in the sector could make improvements to ensure better regulation of processes and ensure the prioritisation of food safety.

Several significant recommendations made include a greater focus on capabilities and skills across the industry, increasing transparency of data and sharing with regulators and across the industry and greater involvement of the industry to create more explicit guidance to meet the needs of food businesses.

“We launched this review following a series of high-profile events over the last 12 months at a number of meat businesses. These incidents cast a shadow over the whole sector and not just the businesses directly at fault. This challenged consumer confidence and trust in the industry as a whole,” said Jason Feeney, chief executive of the Food Standards Agency.

“This in-depth review has identified actions that the meat industry and the regulatory authorities can take to make improvements. There are good reasons why the meat industry has specific controls in place to protect public health and provide assurance about the authenticity of meat products on the market.”

“We are pleased the industry participated so fully in this approach, and we expect them to continue to work with us to deliver the recommendations once they have been agreed.”