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Horsemeat – A Year on and Lessons Still to be Learned
On the first anniversary of the horsemeat scandal, MPs have warned there are still lessons to be learned from the crisis. Anne McIntosh, chair of the government’s cross-party Environment Food and Rural Affairs committee, said “Five reports and 12 months later, it is a good time to take stock of the situation.”
Last week, Professor Chris Elliott of the Institute for Global Food Security at Queen’s University Belfast told the committee that action is still required to prevent future contamination. The Elliott Review, which was commissioned by the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs, called for the establishment of a new food crime unit to be set up, modeled on systems currently working in Denmark and Holland. In response, the Food Standards Agency have introduced unannounced inspections of meat cutting plants while increasing funding to support local authority testing programmes to £2 million.
Miss McIntosh, however, feels the regulator should re-establish its independence from industry and have the power to compel tests when needed. She also feels the FSA “Must be more innovative in its testing regime and vigilant in ensuring every local authority carries out regular food sampling.”
An Ipsos Mori poll run in partnership with The Grocer magazine to coincide with the anniversary of the scandal has revealed that almost a third of respondents feel it has had a permanent impact on the way they choose and buy food.
You can download a full copy of the interim report of the Elliott Review into the integrity and assurance of food supply networks from: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/elliott-review-into-the-integrity-and-assurance-of-food-supply-networks-interim-report