UK meat plants get public scrutiny with cause for concern list

Scores on Doors was too direct for the Brits, but now they’ve come out with a Cause for Concern scheme to name and shame meat plants that have lousy audits.

It’s part of the UK Food Standards Agency ongoing commitment to openness and transparency to regularly publish audit reports of approved meat plants in England, Scotland and Wales (audit here means those done by government inspectors, rather than third-parties; but I could be wrong, it’s not clear).

Cause for concern is a process developed in response to Professor Pennington’s report on the 2005 E. coli outbreak in Wales, which recommended that there needed to be improved management oversight of poorer performing meat plants. The process makes it clear which plants need to improve their standards to ensure risks to public health are kept to a minimum.

There are currently eight premises on the list. This will be updated, initially on a weekly basis, to reflect changes as meat plants move on or off the list.

Tim Smith, Chief Executive of the FSA, said, “If our inspectors decided that hygiene standards in a plant are so poor that public health could be at imminent risk, we would immediately stop that plant from operating. However, for those businesses that could improve quickly by following our advice, we hope that publication of this list will push them to raise their game and get off the list.”