Meat Hygiene Service

Health written question – answered on 7th April 2005.

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Photo of David Drew David Drew Labour/Co-operative, Stroud

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on his plans for the Meat Hygiene Service.

Photo of Miss Melanie Johnson Miss Melanie Johnson Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department of Health

The Meat Hygiene Service (MHS) carries out important and valuable work in licensed meat establishments to protect public health, animal health and animal welfare. I have been advised by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) that the MHS is facing a number of significant changes. These include enforcement arrangements for new European Union food hygiene regulations, which come into force in January 2006; plans to allow beef from cattle over 30 months old back on to the market once robust arrangements for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) testing are in place; and addressing recommendations made in the report of the independent inquiry into BSE testing failures. The MHS is working closely with the Food Standards Agency and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs towards the effective implementation of these changes.

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