The UK’s Food Standards Agency has insisted no action will be taken against 2 Sisters Food Group, despite saying the poultry processor did breach hygiene regulations at one of its plant.
After conducting an initial set of audits at 2 Sisters’ plants in Anglesey and Scunthorpe, prompted by allegations in The Guardian over hygiene practices, the FSA carried out a further investigation. The investigation involved a review of the footage in The Guardian. The body has since decided there was a “breach of hygiene regulations”.
Speaking to just-food today, a spokesperson for the FSA said: “The conclusion of a review visit was that the examples in the video did provide evidence of failure to follow the plant’s own procedures and so constituted a breach of hygiene regulations.”
However, the FSA added it is “satisfied that corrective actions have been taken by the company and it is our view that no formal enforcement action is appropriate”.
The ruling has however raised the eyebrows of Shadow Food and Farming Minister Huw Irranca-Davies. The MP told just-food today: “First we were told that there had been no breaches of hygiene regulations, then the FSA writes to clarify that a breach of hygiene regulations did in fact take place, but that no enforcement action will be taken.
“Consumers rightly demand that the meat they buy in supermarkets is of good quality and has been processed safely and hygienically in line with the law. Consumers will wonder why no enforcement action has been taken when breaches of hygiene regulations have occurred.”
2 Sisters said the FSA’s investigation which “found no legal compliance issues”.
“Both customers and our own internal investigations supported the FSA’s findings,” the firm said. “However, we are not complacent and we will carry on with our own continual improvement programme, taking on board learnings, investing in our colleagues, our factories and our product development. We will also lead on hygiene and continue with our industry-leading campylobacter trials to tackle this issue once and for all. We are determined to lead the poultry sector with best practice and compliance, and are always looking to improve standards across our operation.”