Members of the European Parliament will vote on new rules to tighten up official inspections throughout the food chain today, in order to prevent a future horsemeat scandal.

In June of last year, MEPs informally agreed on draft plans to tighten up official food checks on food from farm to fork.

The aim of the new rules is to guarantee that the food consumers buy and eat in Europe is safe and wholesome, hence improving consumers’ health and preventing food crises.

Plans to tighten up official food inspections were discussed in the Parliament yesterday and are expected to be put to a vote today, Wednesday, March 15.

Combating Food Fraud

The legislation, which has already been informally agreed upon by MEPs and the Council, aims to improve food traceability, combat fraud and restore consumer trust in the integrity of the food chain.

It is hoped that these new rules will help to prevent cases of food fraud, such as the 2013 EU horsemeat scandal.

Austrian MEP, Karin Kadenbach, is one of the MEPs responsible for steering the proposal through Parliament.

Of course, this law aims to prevent such scandals, but it goes even further.

“Europeans have the right to the best possible health, so do animals and vegetation. And that’s why we need strict, good controls all over Europe,” she said.

It is also believed that the new legislation will improve the health and welfare of animals, especially during the slaughter process.

“Of course, the purpose of the slaughter is to end the life of the animal. But the question is, to what extent we should take into account the protection and welfare of the animals.

“And there is also a matter of safety for the consumer. That is to say, we have enshrined in the text the presence of the veterinarian before slaughter, but also the principle of the veterinarian after the slaughter,” she added.