HC Deb 27 July 2000 vol 354 cc798-9W
Mr. Yeo

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if salvage meat sold by his Department into the human food chain is identified as such to members of the public likely to purchase and consume it. [121413]

Ms Stuart

I have been asked to reply.

No. I am advised by the Food Standards Agency that all fresh meat produced in Great Britain for sale for human consumption is subject to full ante mortem and post mortem inspection by meat Hygiene Service inspectors. Only meat that has been passed as fit for human consumption is health marked and allowed to be marketed. These same general rules apply to "salvage meat" produced from tuberculosis reactor cattle and meat produced from cattle which may be infected with Mycobacterium bovis. However, the same rules require the total condemnation of all carcases with generalised TB infection, and in cases where evidence of TB infection is present (but infection is not generalised) the partial condemnation of affected organs or parts of the carcase is required. These requirements are based on harmonised European Commission rules.

Meat produced from cattle that have reacted positively to the tuberculin test, or from cattle which are found, at post mortem, to show signs indicative of being infected with bovine tuberculosis (M.bovis) is not therefore subject to any special labelling requirements when sold at either wholesale or retail level. The Department does not, in any case, sell "salvage meat" into the human food chain.

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