Abattoir inspection data not being passed back to consumers

Potentially valuable data gathered from Food Standards Agency (FSA) inspections at abattoirs is not being passed back to producers, it has emerged.

Under the Collection and Communication of Inspection Results (CCIR) system, the FSA is legally required to provide information to producers, regarding their findings at anti-mortem and post-mortem at the abattoir. The data is based on what FSA inspectors observe while inspecting live animals prior to slaughter and the carcase on the line.

However, it emerged at an FSA meeting attended by AHDB that CCIR data has not been sent to producers for some time. To resolve the issue, the FSA are collaborating with industry to agree an all species template to capture CCIR data and provide it outside of eAML2. It has been agreed that data will be cascaded to producers via processors with the work-around starting early in the new year.

When the livestock movement database eAML2 launched, it included a service to match CCIR data from the FSA to movements and email CCIR reports to each producer.

This service ran until December 26, 2015, at which point flooding in York caused the FSA server used for processing the CCIR reports for pigs to fail. As the FSA was part way through a project to replace its existing computer systems, it decided not to restore the old server, but wait for the new system to come online.

Early in 2017, the FSA started requesting eAML2 Food Chain Information data, but despite repeated queries have still not reinstated the CCIR information flow back to eAML2.

Previously evidence by AHDB Pork gained via BPHS found that CCIR was accurate for the national herd but not necessarily for each batch of pigs presented for slaughter.

NPA chief executive Zoe Davies said: “This is disappointing, if not surprising news. Producers and processors pay for the meat hygiene inspection services, but the system is failing to deliver any benefits to producers. We hope to see a solution soon.

“It is particularly unsatisfactory as this comes on top of the recent suspension of the British Pig Health Scheme (BPHS), which is also meant to feedback vital health information from abattoirs.”

The FSA has been asked to comment.

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Editor of LBM titles Pig World and Farm Business and group editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer. National Pig Association's webmaster. Previously political editor at Farmers Guardian for many years and also worked Farmers Weekly. Occasional farming media pundit. Brought up on a Leicestershire farm, now work from a shed in the garden in Oxfordshire. Big fan of Leicester City and Leicester Tigers. Occasional cricketer.