The coming Easter will mark the establishment of the Food Standards Agency’s (FSA’s) new Operations Group
1. The integration of the Meat Hygiene Service into the FSA marks the final step in the transformation of the MHS, which will thus become “part of a stronger and more unified FSA,” according to Steve McGrath, Chief Executive, MHS. The focus of the new group will be the consistent delivery of food safety and standards across the UK. And the longterm aim of the new group will be to enhance public health protection, achieve greater food safety compliance and reduce food poisoning.
2. The Operations Group will streamline enforcement support and act as a single voice of enforcement and delivery across the Agency and across the UK. All the FSA’s operational delivery functions – from monitoring local authorities to milk production hygiene and meat inspection – will be merged into a single UK group. The MHS’ status as an executive agency will go and, over time, the MHS logo will be replaced by the FSA logo.
3. Steve McGrath says: “What will not change in April is the commitment and skills of the meat inspectors and vets as they undertake verification audit and inspection services. This will continue as it has done since 1995, when the MHS was created.”