Scotland to tighten food safety rules

Burgers_Grilling_blogAlmost a year after the horse meat incident in the United Kingdom and elsewhere in Europe, Scotland is moving to create tougher food safety rules.

The new laws will require non-compliance with food regulations, such as food fraud, to be reported and will grant more authority to enforcement officials to confiscate products that don’t meet labeling rules or food standards, according to the Scottish government’s website.

The new laws will be part of the Food Standards Scotland bill that also will establish a new food safety organization for Scotland, which will take over duties previously taken care of by the Food Standards Agency (FSA).

Other actions that already have been taken include increased funding for meat testing, increasing awareness and gathering information on how retailers label Scottish red meat products and investing in the creation of a livestock traceability database.

“We need to be able to trust the food we buy. We must know what is in our food and it must be safe to eat,” said Public Health Minister Michael Matheson in a statement. “The horsemeat scandal severely dented consumer confidence here in Scotland and across Europe. That is why the Scottish Government and our partners, including the FSA, are taking tough action to protect consumers and ensure food quality and safety.”

Last January, routine testing uncovered horse and swine DNA in beef products. The discovery was the result of a probe into meat authenticity in Ireland. The discovery lead to consumer outcry across Europe, as well as an increased focus on species identification testing and food fraud.

Comments are closed.