The difference between plans and actions: UK butchers says rules to keep raw and cooked food separate are ‘draconian’

The lobbyists representing U.K. butchers have called government proposals to keep raw and cooked meat products separate, “draconian.”

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) issued the new guidance following two serious outbreaks of E. coli in Scotland in 1996 and Wales in 2005.

Roger Kelsey, chief executive of the National Federation of Meat & Food Traders (NFMFT), labelled the new guidelines as “draconian” and said his organization had been disappointed with the consultation process ahead of their publication.

Kelsey told Meat Trades Journal: “The actual report and the implications of the recommendations are draconian. It covers areas that can be addressed by adequate HACCP procedures.”

Except the butchers involved in the outbreaks didn’t follow HACCP procedures and have to be told, in really simple language, what they are supposed to do, so they don’t kill people.

Some of the key measures highlighted in the guidance to control E. coli are:

• Identification of separate work areas, surfaces and equipment for raw and ready-to-eat food.
• Use of separate complex equipment, such as vacuum-packing machines, slicers, and mincers for raw and ready-to-eat food.
• Handwashing should be carried out using a recognized technique. Anti-bacterial gels must not be used instead of thorough handwashing.
• Disinfectants and sanitisers must meet officially recognised standards and should be used as instructed by the manufacturer.

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About Douglas Powell

A former professor of food safety and the publisher of, Powell is passionate about food, has five daughters, and is an OK goaltender in pickup hockey. Download Doug’s CV here. Dr. Douglas Powell editor, retired professor, food safety 3/289 Annerley Rd Annerley, Queensland 4103 61478222221 I am based in Brisbane, Australia, 15 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time