Tuesday, 12 February 2019
Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
Animal Slaughtering Standards
535. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine further to Parliamentary Question No. 848 of 15 January 2019, if he has applied a fine on a particular carcase for non-compliance with the carcase trim specification in January 2019; the plant involved; the payment made to the farmer supplier to reflect loss; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6635/19]
536. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the date when each of the mechanical classification machines was recalibrated in each meat plant; if he has received reports from the system provider of machines miscalculating grades; the number of times he has identified that the performance of machine grading has been outside the tolerance; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6636/19]
537. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of breaches identified during announced inspections in 2018 on the evaluation of standard of dressing records, concerning use of check weights, comparison of hot and cold weights and labelling particulars, respectively in each plant concerned; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6637/19]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 535 to 537, inclusive, together.
Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/1184 of 20 April 2017 governs the monitoring of carcase classification, carcase presentation and weighing. In 2018, my Department conducted almost 550 unannounced, on-the-spot inspections in 32 factories on classification and carcase presentation.
In all cases where a machine is found to be working outside of tolerance by my inspectors, manual grading is instigated immediately and this is advised to farmers through their remittance dockets. There were 8 instances in 2018 and 13 in 2017 when factories were instructed to revert to manual classification.
The system provider of classification machines does not provide reports on miscalculating grades.
As with any mechanical system, grading machines can from time to time fall out of tolerance. Machines operating outside of tolerance are required to be serviced, and the calibration is checked by staff from my Department before mechanical grading recommences. There were no issues discovered at inspection regarding check weights, comparison of hot and cold weights, labelling particulars.
The breaches of carcase dressing presentation in 2018 have been published already on the Department website. Regarding inspections in 2019 it is my intention to publish the resulting on-the-spot fines (if any), at the appropriate time when the inspections and the processes concerned are complete.