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The CIEH/TSI update statement on horsemeat

Publication Date: 15th February 2013

Subject: CIEH

The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) and Trading Standards Institute (TSI), whose members are environmental health practitioners (EHPs) and trading standards officers (TSOs) working on the frontline of food safety, are awaiting the outcome today of the first phase of testing in connection with the discovery of horse DNA in processed beef products.

Environmental health officers and trading standards officers across the country have stepped up to the challenge of fulfilling the urgent sampling and inspection requests from the Food Standards Agency.

Within a week of action nearly all requested sampling has been completed and testing results have begun to come through.

Having reflected on the issues surrounding this matter, the CIEH and TSI:

  • believe that even if it is proved criminality is behind the fraudulent adulteration of meat on the market, this does not relieve manufacturers and retailers of their legal duty and responsibility to produce and sell food that is safe and labelled accurately
  • call upon the national and devolved Governments to make good resources lost through budgetary cuts in order that local authorities can investigate suspected wrong-doing through planned and ad hoc food sampling
  • draw attention to the vital work of regulatory enforcement performed by environmental health practitioners (EHPs), port health inspectors (PHIs) and trading standards officers (TSOs) in protecting health while food is in preparation, on sale or in transit
  • warn that the cuts in local government funding are having an increasingly damaging impact on the capability of local authorities to maintain sufficient competent, qualified health professionals ‘on the front line’ and and this should be reviewed as a matter of urgency
  • invite a national debate on the plight of the poor and most vulnerable in our society who are especially at risk from the high salt, sugar and saturated fat content associated with many ‘budget’ processed foods

Notes to editors:

  • The CIEH is the professional voice for environmental health representing over 10,000 members working in the public, private and non-profit sectors. It ensures the highest standards of professional competence in its members, in the belief that through environmental health action people's health can be improved
  • The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) is a leading provider of accredited qualifications in health and safety, food safety, environmental protection, fire safety and first aid and operates in 50 countries. Over 10 million people around the world from the UK to the USA and the Middle East hold a CIEH qualification
  • The CIEH’s clients range from small businesses to multinational enterprises like the Intercontinental Hotel Group. We work with governmental bodies in Hong Kong and Chongqing, China as well as international agencies like the United Nations
  • The CIEH’s 60 qualification training programmes are delivered through a network of over 10,000 registered trainers. The training is developed for the varied skill levels within organisations. They cater to different learning styles and preferences through a series of flexible structures. CIEH qualifications are OFQUAL (formerly QCA) accredited and are valued and recognised throughout the world
  • For more information about the CIEH visit www.cieh.org
  • For CIEH media enquiries, please contact Andrew Hamadanian on 020 7827 5922 or 07944 262 100