Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments Eighteenth Report


Memorandum by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food


  1. This memorandum explains why it has been felt necessary in relation to these Regulations (which extend to England only and are subject to negative procedure) to breach the convention that they should lie before Parliament for at least 21 days before coming into force.

  2. The Meat Products (Hygiene) (Amendment) Regulations 1999 (S.I. 1999/683) came into force, with some exceptions, on 31 March 1999 and extended to the whole of Great Britain. One of the exceptions (regulation 2(10)(k)) relates to a change in the method of manufacture of meat based prepared meals, which is due to come into force on 31 March 2000. The consultation on the Meat Products (Hygiene) (Amendment) Regulations 1999, in June 1998, revealed that this change would cause industry some difficulty. The delay in the implementation of this change was agreed to allow further work to be done on resolving this issue. The result of this work is that in accordance with the final paragraph of new point 2(a) of Chapter IX of Annex B to Council Directive 77/99/EEC (inserted by Council Directive 95/68/EC, OJ No. L. 332, 30.12.95, p. 10) an additional method of preparation for meat based prepared meals is to be permitted. Given that it is desired to allow that additional method to be used with effect from 31 March 2000, the Meat Products (Hygiene) (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2000 revoke the planned implementing provision, regulation 2(10)(k), with effect from 30 March 2000 and substitute a revised text with effect from 31 March 2000. That revised text permits an additional method of preparation to be used, as an alternative to the ones expressly set out in the new point 2(a) referred to above.

  3. The Meat Products (Hygiene) (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2000 were subject to statutory consultation pursuant to section 48(4) of the Food Safety Act 1990 (1990 c. 16) and a consultation document containing draft Regulations was sent out on 24 January 2000. The deadline for reply to the consultation document was close of business on 21 February 2000.

  4. Internal administrative problems and protracted discussions with the relevant enforcement authorities and the industry have prevented these Regulations being laid sooner.

  5. No disrespect to Parliament was intended by this course of action.

  6. On the coming into force of the Transfer of Functions (Agriculture and Food) Order 1999 (S.I. 1999/3141) the Secretary of State for Wales ceased to be a co-signatory of Food Safety Act Regulations extending to England.

15th March 2000

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