FSA to launch review of meat suppliers after food hygiene scare

By Sophie Witts contact

- Last updated on GMT

FSA to launch review of meat suppliers after food hygiene scare
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is to launch a review of meat cutting plants and cold stores in the wake of ‘serious issues’ identified at two suppliers.

Last month Russell Hume, which supplied the Jamie Oliver Group and JD Wetherspoon, had its production shut down after the FSA raised concerns over 'major non-compliances' with food hygiene regulations following a surprise inspection of its Birmingham site on 12 January.

The Jamie Oliver Group was temporarily forced to remove some chicken and steaks​ from the menu as a precaution, but has since switched to a new supplier.

A spokesperson for the company told BigHospitality​ it was 'confident' none of the meat served in its restaurants had been affected as it ran independent audits of all its suppliers.

The FSA said it was ‘intensifying’ its investigation in to Russell Hume, and was examining the ‘extended use of use-by dates’ as well as food safety processes in place at the business.

It comes months after 2Sisters Food Group, which supplies supermarket chicken, temporarily shut its West Bromwich site last October after a Guardian​ and ITV​ undercover investigation found evidence of best-before dates being tampered with.

FSA chairman Heather Hancock and FSS chair Ross Finnie said in a joint statement: “In the last six months the FSA and FSS have faced two serious incidents involving major players in the meat sector.

“People rightly expect food businesses to keep to the rules, rules designed to keep consumers safe and to sustain public trust in food - and food businesses have a duty to follow the regulations.

“In the light of these recent incidents, the FSA and FSS will be taking forward reviews of cutting plants and cold stores used for meat.”

Further details of the industry-wide investigation will be published later this month, and the results will be fully available to the public.

There is no indication people have become ill from eating meat supplied by Russell Hume.

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