EU food safety threat to farm firms

23 July 2001

EU food safety threat to farm firms

By FWi staff

FARM-BASED food processing and retail businesses could be forced to close in 2004 because they do not meet EU requirements on food safety.

Eunice Taylor of Salford University said that the vast majority of small food businesses — including farm shops — failed to meet EU regulations designed to enhance food safety.

The rules concern Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP), which should protect consumers from illness caused by poor handling of foodstuffs.

A pilot project conducted by Salford University to get businesses through HACCP saw 30 apply, but just three completed the task.

“The EU Commission expects to enforce the regulation in 2004, but UK industry is not prepared for it. Are we going to close down all the food businesses?” asked Prof Taylor.

Karol Bailey, who owns a farm shop in Tabley, Cheshire, said she found HACCP “terribly complex” and the industry needed to provide some solutions and advice.


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