A revised procedure for the review and, if necessary, suspension or withdrawal of approval of meat establishments with veterinary attendance
Tuesday 24 November 2009
All comments and views should be sent to:
Animal Food Chain & Novel Foods
Food Standards Agency Scotland
6th Floor, St Magnus House
25 Guild Street
Tel: 01224 285145
Fax: 01224 285168
Responses are requested by: 19 January 2010
Who will this consultation be of most interest to?
Food business operators in meat plants under veterinary control.
What is the subject of this consultation?
A proposed revised procedure for the review and, if necessary, suspension or withdrawal of approval of meat establishments with veterinary attendance provided by the Meat Hygiene Service (MHS).
What is the purpose of this consultation?
To seek views on this proposed change in policy and on the proposed timescales for the procedure.
Regulation (EC) 882/2004 requires the competent authority to keep approvals of meat plants under review. If the competent authority identifies serious deficiencies or has to stop production at the establishment repeatedly, it must initiate procedures to suspend or withdraw the approval. The current procedure for the review and, if necessary, suspension or withdrawal of approval of meat establishments subject to veterinary control is set out in the MHS's Manual of Official Controls (MOC). The procedure is defined by a series of steps that must be taken when a review is carried out.
Recent experience in reviewing the approval of particular establishments has suggested that the efficiency and effectiveness of the procedure could be improved.
A review was therefore carried out which found the current procedure:
- procedurally incorrect, as it deals with suspension and withdrawal of approval as independent issues and makes no provision for the submission of guarantees by the food business operator (FBO). Where the FBO submits acceptable guarantees regarding the resolution of non-compliance, the competent authority may wish to suspend approval as an alternative to withdrawal. Suspension and withdrawal must therefore be considered as part of the same decision-making process.
- to require two assessment visits prior to a recommendation for suspension or withdrawal of approval, when a single assessment visit and consideration of previous non-compliance with the Hygiene Regulations would provide an effective review in a more timely and efficient way.
The proposed revised procedure simplifies the process for review of approval, by reducing the number of assessment visits required from two to one, and takes account of the option to suspend approval based on guarantees made by the FBO. An Impact Assessment is included as part of this consultation. It shows the current procedure alongside the proposed revised procedure. As the revised procedure would involve one less visit by the competent authority to the establishment under review, we estimate that there would be a small saving in the cost of carrying out a review, to both the FBO and the competent authority.
- A revised procedure for the review of approval of meat establishments subject to veterinary control
All FBOs of meat plants under veterinary control who may be affected by this proposal are being consulted. No further consultations or meetings are proposed. A summary of responses to the consultation will be published on the Agency’s website. It is proposed to apply the revised procedure in meat plants under MHS control throughout Britain. Consultations on the change will be run concurrently in England, Scotland and Wales. Questions asked in this consultation:
- Do you agree that the proposed change is appropriate?
- Do you agree that the proposed process for the review of approval is a reasonable one?
- Do you agree with the assessment of costs and benefits outlined in the Impact Assessment?
We would particularly welcome the views of FBOs of meat plants subject to veterinary control and their representative bodies, as they may be affected by this proposal. We would welcome answers to the questions posed above together with any evidence that can be submitted in support of comments that are made in response to this consultation. Please submit comments by email or by post or, if it is more convenient, please make contact by telephone on 01224 285145.
Responses are required by close on 19 January 2010. Please state, in your response, whether you are responding as a private individual or on behalf of an organisation/company (including details of any stakeholders your organisation represents).
This consultation has been prepared in accordance with the HM Government Code of Practice on Consultation, which states that a consultation must follow better regulation best practice, including carrying out an Impact Assessment (Regulatory Impact Assessment in Scotland). The assessment is included in the consultation documents.
We are interested in what you thought of this consultation and would therefore welcome your general feedback on both the consultation package and overall consultation process. If you would like to assist us to improve the quality of future consultations, please feel free to share your thoughts with us by using the consultation feedback questionnaire.
Publication of personal data and confidentiality of responses
In accordance with the FSA principle of openness our Information Centre at Aviation House will hold a copy of the completed consultation. The FSA will publish a summary of responses, which may include personal data, such as your full name. Disclosure of any other personal data would be made only upon request for the full consultation responses. If you do not want this information to be released, please complete and return the Publication of Personal Data Form. Return of this form does not mean that we will treat your response to the consultation as confidential, just your personal data.
Data protection form (Word)
Data protection form (pdf)
Publication of response summary
Within three months of a consultation ending we aim to publish a summary of responses received and provide a link to it from this page.
If, after three months, the summary is still not showing, please contact the person who was responsible for the original consultation. Alternatively, you can contact the FSA Consultation Co-ordinator by email: firstname.lastname@example.org