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January 9, 2018

Kerry Group defends recruitment as ex-employee convicted over terrorism

Ireland's Kerry Group described its recruitment procedures as "robust" after one of its former workers in the UK was found guilty of plotting an Islamic State-style terrorist attack.

By Leonie Barrie

Ireland’s Kerry Group described its recruitment procedures as “robust” after one of its former workers in the UK was found guilty of plotting an Islamic State-style terrorist attack.

Munir Mohammed, who was employed at the Kerry Foods facility at Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire, for six months in 2016, was said in court to be planning a terrorist attack involving the poison ricin.

Mohammed was a food packer at the Mosley Street factory from May to November 2016. Police raided his Derby home in December 2016, and found two of the three ingredients needed for the attack.

Yesterday (8 January), the jury at the Central Criminal Court in London found Mohammed guilty of preparing for an act of terrorism under Section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006, alongside Rowaida El Hassan, from London, whom he had met on an Islamic dating site.

The pair will be sentenced at a later date.

Kerry said it takes “every possible measure to ensure the safety and integrity of products manufactured at our facilities”.

The ingredients and consumer foods supplier stressed “there was no evidence presented in court that he attempted to contaminate any products made at our Burton plant or that any of our products were contaminated”.

Kerry – which owns consumer brands including Richmond sausages and Cheestrings cheese – investigated the matter following Mohammed’s arrest.

A spokesperson for Kerry said: “We fully cooperated with the police in their investigation at the time of Mr Mohammed’s arrest on 12 December 2016 and subsequently.

“While the majority of workers at Kerry Foods Burton are direct employees, Mr Mohammed was recruited for Kerry Foods by GI Group, a leading international company which has provided our temporary workforce to meet seasonal or marketplace demand requirements for more than 25 years. 

“GI Group goes beyond its legal requirements regarding Right to Work checks and the processes in relation to GI Group employees undertaking work on site at Burton are regularly audited. We immediately investigated the matter and continue to engage with GI Group to ensure that our recruitment procedures are as robust as possible.

“Food safety is of paramount importance to Kerry Foods. As you would expect, we take every possible measure to ensure the safety and integrity of products manufactured at our facilities, including stringent application and review of controls and thorough training, supervision, and regular audits.”

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