Aim of the Veterinary Department
To work with local Food Business Operators to help them achieve and maintain the highest standards of food safety. We are actively involved in combating zoonotic diseases i.e. diseases transmittable between animals and humans. We also have a direct input into the elimination of Notifiable Diseases.
The food safety work is carried out under a Service Contract with the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI), with emphasis on hygiene and traceability.
Premises and Produce
The Veterinary Department carries out regular inspections and food safety audits to ensure compliance with Irish and EU Law.
The carcases produced in our abattoirs are derived from animals that are individually inspected by our veterinary staff both prior to slaughter and again afterwards. All carcases passed as fit for human consumption are marked by the application of a health mark which includes a unique number identifying the abattoir of slaughter.
All meat leaving our abattoirs is also clearly labelled with the animal’s tag number, ensuring full traceability back to the herd or flock of origin. Most of the throughput of these Mayo abattoirs is sourced locally.
Similarly, all meat processing plants have a unique number incorporated into the health mark which must be displayed on the label of all products emanating from the premises. The label must also clearly show information such as contact details, a use by/expiry date plus an indication of the storage temperature.
We are subject to audit by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland, which in turn is subject to audit by the European Food Safety Authority. This chain of audits by various agencies ensures the safety of the meat produced in our abattoirs and meat processing plants in County Mayo.
All those who work in abattoirs or meat processing plants must receive Food Hygiene Training. In this regard, the we have regular meetings with such owners and operatives and we also help the training effort by identifying areas that require emphasis and running training courses targeted at these specific areas.
We are responsible for the welfare of any animals in our care under the Control of Dogs Act 1986 and Horses Act 1996. The Veterinary Department helps in the implementation of these two pieces of Legislation.