The United Kingdom’s Food Standards Agency (FSA) has announced that it is commissioning research aimed at modernizing official controls on meat. Noting that “the driving force” behind the Future Meat Controls Research Programme is to “improve public health by adopting a more risk- and evidence-based approach to meat production,” FSA said four areas of research will be part of the evidence to support regulatory change.

Areas of research needed are (i) “an evaluation of food chain information, and collection and communication of inspection results for all species”; (ii) “trialling the visual inspection for fatting pigs from non-controlled housing conditions”; (iii) “a qualitative risk assessment of visual inspection of red meat and farmed/wild large game (all ages and species other than swine)”; and (iv) “trialling the use of a plant inspection assistant in approved game handling establishments (small and large wild game).” FSA requests proposals by April 6, 2011.