The FSA will sign off on the reform of the Meat Hygiene Service at its 19 July board meeting.

The two main options for cutting the cost of the service will be presented by programme manager Geoff Tierney in time for implementation over the autumn.

"One option is to transform the existing 'in-house' Meat Hygiene Service, making it more focused and efficient," said Tierney. "The second option is to contract out the work to control bodies or 'delivery partners'."

At a meeting with the industry this month the consensus was that both options were viable options, as long as the cost of the service fell.