2 Sisters’ ‘safety breach’ factory to restart production

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

2 Sisters is to restart production at its West Bromwich site this week
2 Sisters is to restart production at its West Bromwich site this week

Related tags Food standards agency 2 sisters food group West bromwich

2 Sisters Food Group is to restart production at its West Bromwich site this week, after allegations of food safety breaches at the factory.

The planned reopening followed “comprehensive retraining sessions” ​by the company with the factory’s staff last month.

Staff from the Food Standards Agency (FSA) would be on site at all times, said the poultry processor. CCTV coverage of the factory had been extended and monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week, it added.

A 2 Sisters spokesman said: “This ​[restarting production] will be phased over the coming weeks, working closely with our customers in the process.

“We would like to thank our colleagues at the site who have acted with understanding and professionalism during this unsettling period.”

Actions 2 Sisters has taken

Supermarket retailers Tesco, Aldi and Marks & Spencer have confirmed that they will start receiving orders from the West Bromwich site, after being satisfied with the actions 2 Sisters has taken to improve the factory.

A Tesco spokesman said: “Following the retraining programme carried out by 2 Sisters at its West Bromwich site, we can confirm we will begin to receive orders from the site again in the coming days.

“We are satisfied the issues have been addressed and work will now be carried out to our high production standards. We’ll continue to work with 2 Sisters and the FSA as the site gets back up and running.”

An Aldi spokesman said the company was now satisfied with the course of action that 2 Sisters had taken.

As a result of the remedial measures 2 Sisters Food Group have put in place, we are satisfied that all issues have been resolved​,” said Aldi.

‘Satisfied that all issues have been resolved’

Production at the West Bromwich plant was halted, after an undercover investigation by The Guardian ​and ITV News claimed chicken that had been sent back by supermarket distribution centres had been repackaged before being returned to other retailers.

The claims, backed by what was said to be video evidence, said workers mistreated chickens and changed slaughter dates and locations in moves that could affect food safety.

Last month saw 2 Sisters boss Ranjit Boparan appeared before a parliamentary committee​ over allegations of food safety and hygiene offences at the plant.

Boparan agreed to fund FSA inspectors across all of its plants, as well as implement CCTV in all areas and improve staff training to restore confidence in its poultry production.

Meanwhile, last month, chairman of the House of Commons’ Environment Food and Rural Affairs select committee Neil Parish MP accused the UK’s main meat assurance schemes of being culpable​” for the safety breaches​ at the factory.

Food Standards Agency comment on 2 Sisters

Commenting on 2 Sisters restarting production at its West Bromwich factory, an FSA spokesman said: “Our inspectors have been present at the plant since the allegations were first made and we continue to investigate the evidence, including CCTV footage, to see if incidents of non-compliance took place.

“FSA staff currently remain present on site during operations, at the request and expense of 2 Sisters Food Group.  This measure has no direct impact on the investigation but any incidences of non-compliance will result in prompt and proportionate action.”

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