Fri, 06 Oct 2017
UK - Two further 2 Sisters poultry plants are being probed by the Food Standards Agency after an undercover investigation by ITV News and the Guardian.
2 Sisters is the largest supplier in the UK of chickens to supermarkets but secret filming uncovered a series of potential breaches of food safety rules at a site in the West Midlands.
Marks and Spencer, Lidl, Aldi, Sainsbury's and Tesco suspended taking chicken from the plant over hygiene concerns.
A statement from the FSA read: "This inspection has not identified food safety issues on these premises, but it highlighted issues requiring management attention, for example in relation to some aspects of staff training and stock control.
"We are working with the major retailers supplied by 2 Sisters, as well as reviewing information from various other sources."
Heather Hancock, Chairman of the FSA, added: "Consumers deserve food they can trust, and can be reassured that we take allegations of poor practice very seriously.
"Although our initial inspection found no risk to public health, we are broadening our investigations until we are satisfied that this is truly the case."
In an interview with Dave Lewis, the Tesco Chief Executive, earlier this week, he said he believed hygiene issues were isolated to the West Midlands site. He said that Tesco continued to source chicken from other 2 Sisters factories.
Speaking to ITV News, he added: "We've investigated and audited all the other sites that we take chicken from as a precaution, based on what it is you have raised. So we are confident that all of chicken we are taking is absolutely to the right standard."
At the West Midlands site, the undercover reporter witnessed:
2 Sisters Food Group told ITV News that hygiene and food safety is "the number one priority within the business".
A spokesperson added: "We also successfully operate in one of the most tightly-controlled and highly regulated food sectors in the world."
The company launched a "comprehensive and thorough" internal investigation into its West Midlands site after viewing the evidence collected by ITV News.
Go to our previous news item on this story by clicking here.