asked Her Majesty's Government:
With reference to the report in Meat Journal on 20 June that Vion Food Group has acquired Grampian, and in the light of the avian flu investigation of 2006–07 in Norfolk, how they will ensure that the use in the United Kingdom of meat from other parts of the Vion Food Group will be monitored and controlled. [HL5540]
All consignments of meat imported into the UK from other EU member states and outside the EU must have been produced in accordance with the harmonised Community rules laid down in European Community legislation. Imported meat for human consumption must come from approved premises and must have a health mark or identification mark to confirm it is fit for human consumption.
Random checks are carried out at points of destination by official veterinarians to ensure products meet the requirements, and the delivery of official controls in plants is subject to audit by the Meat Hygiene Service.
The European Commission's Food and Veterinary Office carries out regular programmes of inspection visits to all member states. Among other things, this legislation sets out the licensing, structural and veterinary supervision requirements to be applied in production plants.