According to FSA ceo Jason Feeney, information on “four or five” businesses was submitted to the agency. Speaking to Food Manufacture, Feeney confirmed the information received led to the recent inspections.
Although he would not give out any further details about the sources of the information, he did say that information submitted proved to be “strong”.
“We received intelligence and information from a number of sources about a small number of companies, four or five, and we’re following these up,” he said. “The information and intelligence proved to be strong, which is why we’re seeing a ‘burst of action’.”
Feeney praised those who had come forward. “It’s to be welcomed that we’re getting this information and it’s proving to be of good quality that we can act upon. It’s something that has been difficult in the past for the FSA.”
He said the FSA would be launching an “easier” way for individuals to pass on concerns they might have to the agency.
“It’s something we’re keen to encourage and we’ve got a new website launching in the next month that will make it easier to pass on information.”
Feeney also praised Fairfax Meadow and Muscle Food for their swift responses to the FSA investigation results. “Certainly both Muscle Food and Fairfax Meadow have been very co-operative and acted quickly and responsibly. The speed of response in these situations is a key issue and it helps with our confidence in any changes they make to their food management system.”
Earlier this week, foodservice supplier Fairfax Meadow recalled produce due to a use-by date labelling error. Last week, online retailer Muscle Food 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".