Insolvency experts have warned that the cleaver hangs over the UK meat trade as the new Food Standards Agency, the Meat Hygiene Service and changes to licensing regulations take effect.
‘Standards were already higher than those in Europe,’ said Philip Long, corporate recovery partner at Pannell Kerr Forster.
Abattoirs and meat handlers under the Hygiene Assessment System (HAS) are scored each week, and are at risk of losing their licence if they score below a certain mark.
PKF was this year called in as receiver to Manchester Abattoir and Meat Market, where insolvency experts worked to improve butchers’ HAS scores before the business was sold on.
Long said that corporate recovery specialists needed to be kept fully informed of their customers’ HAS scores so that they can work with and support customers in danger of closure.
He said: ‘We would urge banks with business clients in the meat industry to be extra vigilant.’
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