ITV News have reported that there is a public health risk from contaminated meat after a joint investigation with the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.
The investigation found that more than a quarter of abattoirs, 29 per cent, failed to meet key hygiene standards including inadequate disinfection, equipment not being cleaned properly and contaminated carcasses. These abattoirs supply meat to big brands including M&S, Asda, McDonalds and Waitrose.
One whistleblowing worker from the meat industry told ITV News: “”I think it’s an inherent lack of enforcement over a number of years where the industry has just constantly got away by pushing and bullying and harassing staff.
“Some of the plants I’ve been into you’ve got five or six seconds to inspect the animal, you can be letting through parasites, you can be letting through contamination.
“The general public have a right to know what goes on before meat comes to the supermarkets…It’s about time something was done.”
This contamination could lead to E.coli and food poisoning. Nathan Jones has been campaigning for meat to been policed more rigorously since his son, Mason, died age five after an E.coli food poisoning outbreak killed two people and affected 160.
Slaughterhouses have been very good at hiding the horrors which are carried out inside them. Despite most slaughterhouses having CCTV, many refuse to let Food Standards Agency vets see the film. This will not always be the case. Last month, Michael Gove announced that CCTV will soon be mandatory in slaughterhouses across England in government plans to improve animal welfare standards. The cameras will cover all areas which hold live animals and the FSA veterinary professionals will have access to the footage.
The meat industry is cruel, unsustainable and, according to this report, dangerous to public health. Switching to a plant based diet has many benefits including improvement in health as well as saving thousands of animals from lives in captivity and miserable deaths.