UK: 2 Sisters "passes" FSA poultry plant audits
2 Sisters has hit out against The Guardian's allegations
2 Sisters Food Group said today (28 July) two plants at the centre of food safety allegations had passed audits ordered by the UK's Food Standards Agency.
The company was last week accused of breaching hygiene regulations at the factories, prompting concerns about contamination with the campylobacter bacteria, which causes food poisoning.
The Guardian newspaper published the claims about the sites on Wednesday. Among its allegations were pictures of a 2 Sisters plant that it said showed a mechanical breakdown that had led to high-risk material including feathers, guts and offal "piling up for hours" while production continued. The publication also claimed chicken that had fallen onto the floor had been put back on production lines.
On Friday, the FSA said it had reviewed video footage and photographs from The Guardian of "three specific incidents" at the sites, which are located in Anglesey and Scunthorpe.
It claimed the incidents were "addressed in an appropriate manner by the business at the time and did not present a food safety risk".
However, it added The Guardian's investigation highlighted broader concerns about practices at the plants, including chickens that have fallen onto the floor being put back on production lines, and it carried out audits at the factories that day.
In a statement today, 2 Sisters said it had passed the "rigorous audit processes" at the two plants. The Scunthorpe factory had been rated "good" under new critieria drawn up by the FSA. The site in Anglesey was rated "generally satisfactory".
2 Sisters repeated its dismissal last week of The Guardian's allegations as "untrue, misleading and inaccurate".
Ranjit Singh, CEO of 2 Sisters Food Group, added: "We welcomed these audits and we are pleased the FSA has worked with typical rigor and thoroughness. We are satisfied with their findings which show that no legislative compliance issues were raised.
"However, we must not be complacent. We will continue to be at the forefront of our sector by investing in our sites and leading from the front in tackling key challenges to our industry like campylobacter."
2 Sisters said the FSA has also released its latest quarterly figures for the UK poultry industry, providing a measure of our campylobacter rates at the point of sale. 2 Sisters' claimed its "industry-leading position" was maintained.
"Chickens at all processing sites in the UK ran at 15.4% - a 3% improvement on the last quarterly data," it said.
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