To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his policy is on the implementation of Annex III, section V, Chapter III, point 2 (B) to Regulation (EC) No 853/2004 on minced meat.
We are fully supportive of regulatory measures to ensure that business operators produce safe food. Paragraph 2(b), Chapter III, Section V, Annex III of Regulation (EC) 853/2004 sets out prescriptive requirements concerning the statutory time limits after slaughter for the production of minced meat in approved establishments. These requirements prevent the production of mince from carcases that have been matured, as has been the tradition in the United Kingdom. There is no scientific basis to support these requirements, which are in addition to microbiological criteria which prevent unsafe mince from being placed on the market. The Food Standards Agency is working with stakeholders including industry and the European Commission to agree a way forward on this issue.