The Food Standards Agency has today started the regular publication of audit reports of approved meat plants in England, Scotland and Wales. This marks the beginning of routine publication of these reports, in line with the FSA's commitment to transparency.
More than 200 audit reports are being published today. These cover all audits that have been completed since 1 November 2011. From now on, audit reports will be issued at the end of each month (about 200 each month).
FSA approval is required before a meat plant can operate (this includes slaughterhouses, cutting plants and game handling establishments). There are 1,200 FSA-approved meat plants in Great Britain, and 60 in Northern Ireland.
The FSA is currently reviewing audit arrangements with the aim of making them easier to understand, both for the food business operator and for people not involved in the meat industry. Once this review is complete, the Agency will publish audits for all approved meat plants across the UK, including Northern Ireland.
Tim Smith, Chief Executive of the FSA, said: 'We think it’s important that people have access to this type of information; it shows not only the FSA’s commitment to publishing all useful information but we hope publication will also help businesses to maintain high standards in this vital food sector.'
As audit reports are technical documents, the FSA has produced explanatory notes to accompany their publication.
For further details and to access the reports, see the FSA website at: http://www.food.gov.uk/foodindustry/meat/audit/