Training boost for poultry inspection

Bernard Matthews has developed a new training scheme for poultry inspector assistants to help address a shortfall in qualified poultry inspectors.

Bernard Matthews' technical director, Jeremy Hall, has been involved in developing the training syllabus in his role as chairman of the British Poultry Council Processing Commitee. The Processing Committee together with the Food Standards Agency and the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health has structured a syllabus for assistants that gives them 100 hours of theoretical and practical training in food safety, bird welfare and post-mortem inspection of poultry.

Local agricultural college, Easton, has taken on the new syllabus and has now become the recognised centre for the training, which is offered in a number of languages to support students from other European countries.

Hall said: "Bernard Matthews is committed to delivering the highest commercial levels of control, hygiene and quality standards. This latest development means we will be the first UK plant with inspectors trained to the new enhanced standards and we will work closely with the Meat Hygiene Service and FSA staff to deliver 21st century standards of food hygiene and meat inspection. Where plants have a good HACCP system and there are high levels of control and microbiological standards - which the new syllabus should deliver within the industry - we may, in the long term, be able to reduce the number of inspectors."