Approval of meat plants
EU member states must publish lists of approved establishments, each corresponding to a different food sector. Under food hygiene legislation, meat plants require our approval to operate, unless they benefit from specific exemptions.
We’re responsible for approving slaughterhouses, cutting plants and game handling establishments, as those facilities require the presence of an Official Veterinarian. If a plant also has on-site cold stores, minced meat, meat preparation or meat products establishments, we need to approve these too. However, if they’re stand-alone establishments, your local authority will assess them.
Audit of Meat Establishments
Food Standards Scotland carries out routine audits of approved meat establishments (that is slaughterhouses, cutting plants and game handling establishments) under veterinary control in Scotland.
These audits aim to ensure that food business operators are complying with food law requirements and to ensure that food businesses operating as a slaughterhouse are complying with relevant standards of animal health and welfare.
The audit frequency is determined by the categorisation of any non-compliance identified.
Audits and follow-up audits are carried out on an announced basis, with unannounced inspections also taking place in between scheduled inspections in cutting plants.
Food Standards Scotland has a dedicated in-house team of trained veterinary auditors carrying out these audits in Scotland.
Food business operators may appeal audit findings. They have up to 14 days following receipt of the audit report to appeal an audit outcome. Food Standards Scotland won’t publish an audit report on the website before the appeal window period has passed. Published reports will not contain potentially sensitive information such as personal details of staff and detailed technical information.
Request for a review of the full audit of food business operators.
Manual for Official Controls
The Manual for Official Controls (MOC) gives you details of the tasks, responsibilities and duties of our staff and veterinary contractors in approved establishments.
Approved premises in Scotland
Food Standards Scotland approve red and white meat slaughter houses, game handling establishments and cutting plants. If co-located with the previous mentioned operations FSS also approves other activities in relation to products of animal origin.
The full list of approved establishments can be found here.
Applying for approval
A food business can’t be considered for approval until we’ve carried out an assessment, a veterinary manager has made a recommendation, and the approval documentation has been issued to the food business operator.
To apply for approval to operate as a slaughterhouse, cutting plant or game handling establishment, please download the form here or email firstname.lastname@example.org for an application pack.
When we are in receipt of the completed application and all supporting documentation, the Approvals team will make arrangements for a mutually agreed time for the veterinary manager to visit your establishment. The assessment visit will cover all structural, equipment, HACCP and hygiene requirements, and food businesses will have to meet all the relevant legal requirements of both Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 and Regulation (EC) No 853/2004.
Official Controls Charging
As from 1 May 2017, the undertaking of all approval activity in meat establishments is now charged at an hourly rate of £56.11, this will include time spent by the officer on preparation, visiting establishments and report writing (travel time is not directly chargeable to the individual FBO but is accounted for in the hourly charge).
Find out more about charging.
Appealing a decision
If the premises are refused approval, you have a right to appeal to a sheriff against our decision. This is in accordance with Regulation 12 of the Official Feed and Food Controls Regulations 2009, as amended. The time limit for lodging an appeal is one month from the date of the decision.
Food Standards Scotland
Old Ford Road
Aberdeen AB11 5RL
Tel: 01224 285100
Withdrawal of approval
We need to ensure that all food business operators of approved meat establishments are producing meat safely. Where we find this is not the case, we can recommend prompt withdrawal of approvals as the ultimate sanction.