Paul Smith, a retired UK food inspector, strongly criticized UK meat inspection procedures in testimony given to the House of Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee. He alleges that retailers routinely fail to monitor suppliers through inspections at appropriate intervals, and the “Global Standard for Food Safety” adopted as a substitute for retailer inspections gives suppliers too much influence over the inspection process. Because suppliers pay for the audit and can choose from several competing inspection bodies, Smith says, they can influence the process with the threat of moving their business to another audit body. Audit bodies are profit-driven, making these threats extremely effective. Smith also says auditing was insufficient in the case of at least two Tesco providers, and that some meat producers have lost confidence in the third party inspection system. Read the entire testimony here.
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