EU hygiene legislation requires skin to be removed from sheep carcasses (apart from the feet) during dressing. Legislation may be adapted providing supporting scientific evidence can be produced. Previous research has investigated the hygienic production of ‘skin-on’ sheep carcasses. Some medicines are permitted to be used for sheep entering the food chain providing the time the medicine must not be used before slaughter (withdrawal period) has been respected prior to slaughter. The withdrawal period has been calculated for skinless sheep meat and information is required on whether this period is adequate for consumer protection should ‘skin-on’ sheep meat be legalised.
A survey will be conducted of ‘skin-on’ sheep feet for a range of veterinary medicines to see if residues can be detected. Samples for the survey will be collected by abattoirs over 12 months following an agreed sampling protocol. ‘Skin-on’ sheep feet are legally available and so will be used as the testing matrix.
<p>Find more about this project and other FSA food safety-related projects at the <a href="http://www.food.gov.uk/science/research/" target="_blank">Food Standards Agency Research webpage</a>.