Tuesday, 29 September 2020

Ceisteanna (1004)

Matt Carthy

Ceist:

1004. Deputy Matt Carthy asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of instances to date in 2020 in which mechanical grading in meat factories has been suspended and reverted to manual grading; the factories concerned; the length of time for the suspension in each case; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26460/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/1184 of 20 April 2017 governs the monitoring of carcase classification, carcase presentation and weighing. To date, in 2020, officers from the Carcase Classification Division of my Department have conducted over 335 inspections across 32 factories (mechanical and manual grading plants) and over 29,963 carcasses were inspected. 

The mechanical classification method must operate within legally defined tolerances at all times.  When any mechanical system is found at inspection to be working outside of these tolerances, the meat plants concerned are instructed to revert to manual grading.   

Regarding the suspension of mechanical grading, this occurred on 3 occasions to date in 2020 following inspections by DAFM classification officers and the factories in questions were instructed to revert to manual grading. In all instances, classification officers from my Department conduct a classification check before a factory is allowed to recommence mechanical grading.

Suppliers are advised through their remittance dockets where manual grading is applied.