Bernard Matthews has developed a new training scheme to help it plug the inevitable shortfall in qualified poultry inspectors after the Meat Hygiene Service and Veterinary Services reduced their support for slaughter plants earlier this year.   

The company’s technical director, Jeremy Hall, via his role as chairman of the British Poultry Council Processing Committee, has for some time been involved in re-defining the role of the Poultry Inspector Assistant (PIA) and developing the PIA training syllabus. The Processing Committee, together with the Food Standards Agency and the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health, has now structured a syllabus for PIAs that gives them 100 hours of theoretical and practical training in food safety, bird welfare and post mortem inspection of poultry.

Training is being delivered through the local agricultural college, Easton, which has now become a recognised centre for PIA training. The course is also being run in a number of languages to support college students from other European countries.