This case study is concerned with standards in the European food industry. It reviews the experience of two European countries, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, particularly in the area of meat hygiene. Human health and safety and animal welfare are among the drivers of food policy in these countries. The main institutions for food safety are reviewed, particularly as they apply to meat hygiene, emphasising principles which may have wider applicability. The recent shift in food policy from a prescriptive to a hazards based approach is described, as are some associated institutional changes such as the potential for delegation of control functions by the competent authorities. Among the features of interest is the potential for credits to be operators who are participating in a private sector assurance (‘certification’) scheme.
David Brown with Pieter van Midwoud