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Pig carcasses destroyed

Sarah Campbell24/10/2018 - 16:25

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Pork meat potentially infected
Pork meat potentially infected

 A UK pork processor was obliged to destroy more than 460 pig carcasses after American inspectors discovered hygiene failings at one of its plants.

Officials from the United States Department for Agriculture (USDA) were visiting four meat plants in the UK licensed to export meat to the US. At three of the four plants, they found major food safety breaches including meat contaminated with faecal matter entering production lines and carcasses being declared fit for human consumption without proper checks, according to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.

At Karro Foods’ Yorkshire abbatoir, the breaches were so serious that company executives agreed to destroy 468 carcasses that had travelled through the facility on the day of the inspection.

The breaches prompted the intervention of the UK Food Standards Agency and Defra. They wrote to their US counterparts to outline action taken to ‘ensure that these findings do not re-occur’ and offer assurances UK meat inspection regimes were robust.

At the Karro plant it was found that, on one occasion, a pig carcass was presented at the post-mortem inspection station without its organs. ‘That carcass was later released for human consumption... without the benefit of final disposition by a veterinarian,’ said USDA.

Procedures for dealing with contamination were also found to be sub-standard. At the Karro factory, when the disposal system for condemned meat failed to operate adequately, meat containing faecal material was allowed to enter the ‘offal-edible product processing area’ which produces food for public consumption. ‘It appears that this process was not monitored frequently by industry personnel or the FSA meat inspection personnel,’ USDA officials reported.

Responding to the findings, an FSA spokesperson said: ‘We carry out thousands of audits and unannounced inspections each year and any issues that may pose a risk to public health will result in immediate and robust enforcement action.

‘The report published by US authorities in May states that their analysis “did not identify any deficiencies that represented an immediate threat to public health” and the four sites they visited continue to be approved for export.

‘Where deficiencies were detected, the food businesses initiated a programme of action which included additional training and enhanced controls and the FSA strengthened verification procedures and increased the frequency of checks.’





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