New post-mortem rejection conditions unveiled
Published:  02 June, 2016

A list of new post-mortem rejection conditions has begun to be implemented in sheep and cattle abattoirs across England. 

Rationalised rejection conditions – in other words, conditions which result in all or part of a carcase being rejected for human consumption – are being introduced as part of a project which saw the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board’s (AHDB) Beef & Lamb division work in conjunction with the Food Standards Agency (FSA).

These rationalised conditions are the first in an effort to improving efficiency in the farm-to-fork information cycle. Maintaining the health and welfare of livestock, protecting UK consumers and supporting the UK’s reputation when it comes to exports are all important areas of focus that the project aims on up-keeping.

Changes have been made following industry consultation and successful trials in abattoirs.

As part of the project, one of the new implementations will be the introduction of a standardised screen layout across sheep and cattle abattoirs to facilitate the accurate recording of data. This will help the FSA Meat Hygiene Inspectors – who will be working across several plants – as it will mean that the same condition can be found in the same place on the screen, in whatever plant they are working in.

“Dovecote Park welcomes the new post-mortem cattle condition as they convey a much simpler and standardised set of disorders that is more useful to the modern family,” said Peter Boyes, technical director of Dovecote Park, a company that supplies beef, veal and venison into Waitrose.

“Standardising the conditions across the country will mean that wherever cattle are slaughtered there will be a consistency in the information recorded by meat inspectors. This, in turn, will lead to clearer information to farmers to understand what treatment to give their herds in the future and also what actions have worked well.

“This information has been available to our farmers for many years now and has already seen benefits in their own health plans. We feel that the standardisation and availability of these post-mortem conditions can only help improve the British beef cattle herd.”

To ensure a smooth implementation of the project, the roll-out is being staggered as follows:
•    North West of England – week commencing 23 May
•    North East of England – week commencing 6 June
•    South East of England – week commencing 20 June
•    South West of England – week commencing 4 July
•    Wales – week commencing 18 July

For more information, or to provide feedback, please contact Ramon Romero, FSA programme lead, by emailing iris@foodstandards.gsi.gov.uk.