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News 1010 views last update:Feb 25, 2016

UK: Fears of diseased meat in food chain

According to food inspectors, meat from animals infected with diseases could make it into the food chain and onto consumer plates.

Official inspectors have warned of this situation due to the fact that the meat inspection process will change as the European Commission wants to modernise legislation.  Statistics show that between 2012 and 2014 more than two million occurrences of tapeworm were found in red meat and during these years, carcasses carrying tapeworms and animals infected with pneumonia, septicaemia, peritonitis and tumours were extracted by inspectors.

Already checks regarding pig carcasses are altered. Previously, inspectors cut into pig heads to check whether the animals were carrying hidden disease, however, new rules in June is changing this physical check and a visual inspection will take place instead.

The  European Commission has stated that changes to take place will amend regulations that list all the diseases to be removed from the human food chain and replace it with a more general conditions regarding safety, health and welfare.

The union which represents government meat inspectors and vets, Unison, has warned of concerns relating to the changes to food legislation by Brussels, saying that inspectors' duties will be rendered, resulting in low quality meats.

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