A spokesman for 2 Sisters told FoodManufacture.co.uk on Friday (October 5): “We receive regular audits at all our English and Welsh sites by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) throughout the year.
“So, of course we will welcome our FSA colleagues at any location they wish to inspect in the coming days.”
The FSA confirmed on Friday its decision to extend its probe beyond 2 Sisters’ West Bromwich poultry plants to all its plants in England and Wales.
While the agency had failed to find any areas of food safety concern at West Bromwich, it had discovered “issues requiring management attention”. Those were in relation to some aspects of staff training and stock control.
‘Issues requiring management attention’
The probe by the FSA and the local authority followed an undercover investigation by The Guardian and ITV News, which claimed staff at the plant abused food safety, hygiene and animal welfare rules.
The claims, backed by what was said to be video evidence, claimed workers mistreated chickens and disguised slaughter dates and locations in moves that could result in consumers buying meat that was past its sell-by date.
Food Standards Scotland (FSS) said there was no evidence to suggest any food safety concerns at the 2 Sisters poultry plant in Coupar Angus.
Inspections at abattoirs and cutting plants
FSS director of operations, Ian McWatt, said the agency conducted regular – and often unannounced – inspections at abattoirs and cutting plants in Scotland to ensure they achieved the highest standard of food safety.
“We last audited the Coupar Angus 2 Sisters premises in July this year and this audit showed that the plant had adequate controls in place to ensure that the poultry is being processed safely and is correctly labelled for the food chain,” said McWatt.
No one from 2 Sisters was available to comment on the FSA statement issued today (October 6).
Meanwhile, 2 Sisters’ owner Boparan Holdings was continuing long-running talks with Burton’s Biscuits about a proposed merger, according to Sky News.