Another meat recall related to date labels

By Aidan Fortune

- Last updated on GMT

Use-by dates are a source of concern for the meat industry at the moment
Use-by dates are a source of concern for the meat industry at the moment

Related tags: Food standards agency

The mislabelling of use-by dates on meat products has led to yet another recall.

Foodservice supplier Fairfax Meadow has issued a voluntary recall on meat products following an unannounced inspection by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and Food Standards Scotland (FSS) on February 8.

According to a joint FSA and FSS statement, the unannounced inspections revealed “concerns about the procedures and processes the company had been using to apply use-by dates on some of its products”​.

“Our review is ongoing but the company has acted properly and proportionately in swiftly withdrawing potentially affected products from the market,”​ the FSA/FSS statement added.

Changing procedures

“Fairfax Meadow responded immediately to our concerns and are now changing their procedures. We are satisfied with the changes that are being made and at present we are not anticipating the need for enforcement action.”

Fairfax Meadow issued a statement from md Penny Tomlinson on the situation.

“Fairfax Meadow is initiating a voluntary product withdrawal for certain batches of meat products with pack codes from 29 to 37 due to a product labelling concern raised by the FSA,”​ she said.

“This voluntary withdrawal reflects our desire to ensure our practices remain industry-leading and follows a dialogue with the FSA. It is being undertaken as a precautionary measure and has been promptly implemented. We have liaised with the FSA throughout and they have provided helpful guidance to us.”

Tomlinson added that no other customers were affected. “Fairfax Meadow continues to operate as normal during this withdrawal period and no other products or deliveries are affected.”

Muscle Food

Last week online retailer MuscleFood issued a voluntary recall on meat products​, following a labelling error, which led to incorrect dates being placed on produce. In January, production at Russell Hume was halted by the FSA over concerns about procedures and processes around use-by dates. Production at Russell Hume’s Liverpool site has since been given approval to recommence.

Earlier this month the FSA and FSS announced a review of meat cutting premises and cold stores​. The review, which will be established later this month, comes in the wake of “serious non-compliance issues identified at cutting plants operated by 2 Sisters Food Group and Russell Hume and will be industry-wide”​.

Related topics: Food Safety, Meat & poultry, Food Labelling

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1 comment

UK Industry Challenge

Posted by Chris,

Another blow for the UK meat industry and a review of how these suppliers are managed by FSA and third party certification is of utmost urgency. We must also, now that the BREXIT is upon us, take into account any non UK based suppliers and have systems in place that they can demonstrate equivalence.

You can be sure that for every one plant that has been identified for manipulating data (for whatever gain or loss limitation) there are suppliers importing into the UK that are routinely doing similar or worse but with the peace of mind that they are logistically far from their customer that an unannounced visit or indeed announced visit will only be undertaken with a very low frequency if at all. Having worked in the meat industry for many years both UK and globally and been disturbed to see these issues occurring I would still put the UK industry as a leader in Food Safety and Quality and as an industry must prioritize gaining its recognition as a leader.

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