Department of Agriculture steps up beef factory checks
Department of Agriculture classification checks at beef factories are to be stepped up and factory personnel updated on their legal obligations.
Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney confirmed that two additional officers had been appointed to carry out inspections, bringing the force to five to monitor the operations at 31 factories.
Responding to a Dáil query from Fianna Fáil agriculture spokesman Éamon Ó Cuív, Agriculture Minister, Simon Coveney, pointed out that the Department had five officers who have specific responsibility for monitoring classification and ancillary checks, including carcass trim.
"In 2014 a classification officer was appointed to the northwest region and the appointment of a classification officer in the southeast was approved in January 2015 to further enhance this level of monitoring," Minister Coveney said.
There were 515 unannounced classification control inspections in 2014 during which 51,017 carcasses were checked, the minister said.
"Later this month, my Department will engage directly with the industry in a series of regional meetings to update personnel on the legal obligations on each factory regarding, inter alia, classification, carcase dressing (trim) and price reporting," Minister Coveney added.