Food safety controls are currently enforced in the UK by a variety of regulatory approaches that considerably differ in their efficiency and effectiveness in achieving social goals of safe food supply and improved consumer confidence. Aim of this study is to establish whether a coregulatory enforcement of these controls is more cost-effective than the traditional command-and- control enforcement modes. First of its kind, the study reviewed a vast theoretical literature on economics of food safety and incentives to develop a conceptual framework and appropriate methodology for comparative cost-effectiveness analysis of co-regulatory approaches to food hygiene controls in the UK meat industry. A panel data on costs and compliance of 710 meat firms operating in the UK and Northern Ireland is collected analysed using fixed-effects model. Results of this analysis show that the co-regulatory approaches can be cost-effective when regulators are capable of devising incentive mechanism that encourages compliance. These findings call for a systematic evaluation of existing regulatory and market incentives to facilitate a more widespread consideration of co-regulation in the UK food industry and supply chains, particularly in sectors that do not presently lend themselves to co-regulation. The findings of the study have empirical implications for food policymakers, analysts and enforcement officers engaged in the analysis, development and implementation of strategies for improving food safety.