The UK’s Food Standards Agency said it found “no evidence of breaches” when it inspected the poultry production plant of 2 Sisters Food Group alleged to have broken labelling rules and followed poor sanitary conditions.

The West Bromwich site in the Midlands was part of an undercover investigation by The Guardian newspaper and ITV News into tampering with the labelling of chicken slaughter dates. The probe also revealed fresh chicken returned by UK supermarkets to 2 Sisters was repackaged and returned, while workers were seen dropping birds on the floor only to put them back on the production line.

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The FSA said in a statement today (29 September) that it regularly audits the 2 Sisters’ cutting plant, which is also subject to unannounced inspections.

“Our inspectors found no evidence of breaches,” the FSA said in the statement. “However, we continue to review the evidence and if any incidences of non-compliance are found we will take prompt and proportionate action with the business concerned, working closely with the local authority.”

Heather Hancock, chairman of the FSA, said: “It is the responsibility of a food business to ensure that the food it sells is safe and what it says it is. We take any allegations of inaccurate labelling and breaches in hygiene regulations very seriously. 

“Should we find any evidence of any risk to public health, any products on the market which we believe to be a cause of concern will be urgently removed from sale.”

2 Sisters supplies UK supermarkets Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Marks and Spencer, Aldi and Lidl. All the retailers said they would start immediate investigations when notified of the investigatory evidence.