Don’t risk lives keep meat inspections independent petition reaches 100,000 signatures.23rd October 2017
The above petition by HUSH and in conjunction with UNISON has now reached 100,000 signatures. The aim of the petition is to let the Food Standards Agency know about the concerns the public has in relation to meat hygiene. Below are two recent examples of meat hygiene scandals:
The first story from the Bureau of investigative Journalism & ITN news “Blowing the whistle on the meat industry” indicates that from the Food Standards Agency’s (FSA) own audits, 29% of all slaughterhouses have failed in regards to a breach of key hygiene regulations that are a legal requirement.
This is despite the valiant efforts of Meat Hygiene staff (who work for the FSA) doing their best to ensure that unhygienic meat does not enter the food chain. The problem, we believe, is with the Management of the FSA trying to reduce costs, but at the expense of protecting the consumer, which is what they were set up for in 2000.
This report also raises concerns about how meat hygiene inspectors are treated in relation to their personal safety when working. Between January 2013 and July 2016 there were 20 incidents where inspectors had to be moved from plants for their own safety. Also according to a Unison survey of their inspectors in 2016 it found that 2/3rd of the inspectors had witnessed bullying or harassment in the previous year. This raises the questions as how can this be possible if the FSA management are following their procedures and policies and should people have to work under these conditions in the 21st century. Also in this report a whistle blower gives an account of where hygiene failings occurred during their career.
We would like to thank the person concerned for their courage in doing so despite his concerns about retribution.
Some of the slaughterhouses in breach of the hygiene regulations supply well known high street retailers. It will therefore be interesting to see how or if both groups responded to a recent consultation on the use of CCTV in slaughterhouses for the purposes of animal welfare and if they would like to see it extended to be used for meat hygiene inspection purposes also, in order to improve conditions, drive up standards and ultimately ensure greater confidence and safety in the products they sell. We note from the report that where slaughterhouses currently have CCTV they appear to be reluctant to let the FSA or Meat hygiene inspectors use it.
The second story from the Guardian and ITV news from an undercover reporter claims that a chicken supplier in the West Midlands changed the “kill date” on chicken and mixed meat of different ages together.
The company concerned, which supplies many high street retailers then suspended its operation in order to re-train all staff including their management in all safety and quality management systems.
Thanks to all concerned with these stories as we believe it indicates what is going wrong and that it helps protect consumer safety.
Below are the links to both of the above mentioned reports:
Finally, thank you all very much for signing the petition:
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