Food hygiene: Tamworth Two abattoir fails test

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Abattoirs scoring low marks in hygiene inspections were publicly "named and shamed" for the first time yesterday. Seventy slaughterhouses and meat plants out of 1,352 inspected failed to hit the target 65 out of 100 marks, according to figures published by the Meat Hygiene Service.

One of those in the shame list is V and G Newman, of Malmesbury, Wiltshire - the scene of the recent "great escape" by the Tamworth Two pigs. The food safety minister, Jeff Rooker, said the abattoir had scored 61 out of 100 and added: "They obviously didn't want to die in a low-scoring abattoir."

Ministers have insisted that back-up checks on every single piece of meat means that nothing which leaves the plants is unsafe to eat. But they also said they hoped that publishing the figures would drive up standards across the industry.

Action is being taken against all the plants scoring less than 65. The abattoir scoring the lowest mark - 34 - Cruisedeal Ltd, in Manchester, has already had its licence revoked. It is appealing against the action.