Reports of Bullying in Meat Industry not Representative
A recent ITV news report has levelled the accusation that there is a culture of bullying in plants which is impeding the FSA from carrying out their duties. We simply do not recognise this as a blanket description across all of industry. The FSA have made it clear that they investigate any such allegations and take appropriate action. They do not accept that their ability to carry out their duties is in any shape or form impeded.
We emphasise that we do not condone bullying in any form whatsoever, particularly if it were being done to deliberately prevent FSA officials performing their roles properly. And, we continue to work closely with the Food Standards Agency to minimise or eliminate any potential hazards that may arise.
The UK has some of, if not the, highest hygiene and welfare standards in the world when it comes to meat production.
In recent years there has been constant monitoring of problems identified at audit and these reports are in the public domain to aid transparency and give consumer confidence in the system. BMPA members take hygiene and animal welfare extremely seriously and work closely with the FSA to ensure that products meet the required hygiene standards. Our members recognise their responsibilities to produce safe food, and, as an additional safeguard, no official vet in a plant would permit any meat that was considered unsafe to go into the food chain.
The UK has some of, if not the, highest hygiene and welfare standards in the world when it comes to meat production. Whenever animals are being slaughtered or meat is being processed in an abattoir there is an official vet from the Food Standards Agency (FSA) present to ensure hygiene systems are being followed and food is safe for public consumption. If a problem is identified by the vet, then the plant is notified and required to rectify it.
As well as the regular meat plant audits by the FSA, which are based on official veterinarian reports covering (in some large plants over 5000) hours of on-site monitoring, unannounced spot checks by the Food Standards Agency, assurance schemes and retailers are also carried out on a regular basis to make sure standards are maintained.
The British Meat Processors Association (BMPA) is the leading trade association in the British meat industry, representing abattoirs slaughtering cattle, sheep and pigs, meat processors and meat manufacturers across the UK. Our membership ranges from small, regional and local family businesses to large international multi-site businesses, from specialist businesses to companies covering a wide range of activities and products. Our members supply branded and retailer own-label meat and meat products across a range of different meat species and foods. This diversity serves to enrich our organisation and allows us to be truly representative of our industry.