The licensing of butchers will be scrapped when new EU food hygiene regulations come into force, according to the chairman of a company that helped introduce the scheme.
Consultant Verner Wheelock said he expected the Food Standards Agency to come down in favour of abandoning the annual £100 licence fee paid by butchers because the new EU rules required “essentially the same standards”.
The FSA launched a consultation last month to invite comments on the two options: to apply the EU hygiene regulations to retail butchers handling both unwrapped raw meat and ready-to-eat food and end licensing, or to make new national licensing provisions.
The current legal requirement that butchers must be licensed will cease on January 1, just as the new EU food hygiene legislation takes effect.
Butcher shop licensing was introduced in England in 2000 as a temporary measure following a fatal outbreak of E.coli O157 food poisoning.