The boards of the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and Food Standards Scotland (FSS) published the draft review earlier this month.
The agencies stressed the review’s importance in managing industry culture and shifting UK meat sector attitudes and behaviours to keep consumer interests at the forefront.
Recommendations included the greater involvement of industry to produce clearer guidance to meet the needs of food businesses. It also suggested there should be an increased focus on skills and capabilities and greater data transparency and sharing for industry and regulators.
The review also called for more effective use of data by regulatory authorities and improved regulatory coordination and consistency.
Throughout the discussion, the boards recognised that the majority of the UK meat sector acted responsibly and that many food businesses went above and beyond regulatory requirements.
“The safety of consumers is paramount to FSS and all of those who have contributed to the review, and this will continue into the implementation phase,” said Ross Finnie, FSS chair.
“This agreed approach will provide assurance that the meat industry and regulators in Scotland will work together to deliver the world-class high standards expected.”
Heather Hancock, FSA chair, said: “Over the last two years, we have seen several food safety and authenticity incidents arise in meat cutting plants and cold stores.
‘Safety and authenticity’
“Events like these jeopardise public confidence in the safety and authenticity of meat processed in the UK. They led us to commission an in-depth review to identify how the operation and regulation of this sector could be improved.”
Alan Clarke, Quality Meat Scotland’s (QMS) chief executive, said: “We welcome this review, which takes stock of the current arrangements across our world-renowned meat sector and identifies how we can further improve and flourish.
“QMS has been engaged with FSS throughout the review and is confident that the quality and reputation of Scotland’s acclaimed meat brands will be further underpinned through the implem