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Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 19492, tabled on 21 June 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that JBS, the Brazilian meat processing company, complies with food safety standards in its UK subsidiaries.

Answered on

28 June 2021

All wholesale processors of food of animal origin within the United Kingdom are required to be approved under retained European hygiene regulations. This requires the establishment to undergo an onsite assessment to establish the premises are suitable and to present evidence of the efficacy of its Food Safety Management Systems to enable approval to be granted. When approval has been granted all establishments remain subject to official controls which include periodic audits as well as unannounced inspections, the frequency determined by compliance and risk. In the case of approved slaughterhouses there will also be the daily presence of Official Veterinarians to observe compliance with hygiene and animal welfare requirements.

If non-compliances are observed there is an enforcement hierarchy which includes verbal or written advice, formal enforcement, which can include suspension of production, right through to prosecution. Local authorities and the Food Standards Agency also have a responsibility to withdraw or suspend approval when evidence is found of major non-compliances which the business is unable to rectify.