New FSA science plan includes Trichinella surveillance proposal

New documents have been published by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) setting out how the organisation will use science, evidence and information to deliver food “we can trust” in the future.

Inviting all stakeholders to comment on its strategy and delivery plan, FSA has released extensive details of its work and forward evidence programme, running through to 2020. The new documents also list all areas of planned research and development to be undertaken by FSA, identifying targets for further food safety improvement.

“We will use science, evidence and information both to tackle the challenges of today, and to identify and contribute to addressing emerging risks for the future,” said FSA, adding that its delivery plan sets out “priorities” for the science which needs to be developed and applied over the next five years.

The new documents are as follows:

  • Science evidence and information strategy 2015-2020 delivery plan
  • Programme of work
  • Forward evidence plan 2016

With the three items running to move than 40 pages in total, the list of projects and programmes covers all food groups and production areas, several of which are relevant to pigmeat production. This includes planned further work in relation to the EU’s harmonised survey of antimicrobial resistance in retail meats (pork, beef and chicken), addressing product labelling issues and the potential launch of new surveillance of Trichinella in UK wildlife.

Trichinella surveillance

Commenting specifically on the Trichinella issue, FSA added: “This project will comprise an industry/stakeholder workshop and small pilot study to determine the practicality of new Trichinella in wildlife surveillance. This will identify the most relevant wildlife species and determine which regions of the UK should be considered to best support new Trichinella testing requirements.

“European Regulation allows for derogations from full testing requirements for ‘compartments’ that are determined to have low risk, and therefore we need to investigate these compartments further by better targeting wildlife surveillance. This project will discuss current requirements with industry, the changing background of surveillance with a long term aim of ensuring industry take the lead in determining their own risks associated with their businesses.”

See full documents



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