In an update to the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Committee into 2 Sisters and Standards in Poultry Processing, Jason Feeney, FSA chief executive, explained the work carried out by both parties following the committee recommendations.
“We are confident the emergency measures of full-time presence in all 2SFG standalone poultry cutting plants is no longer required.
“On this basis cutting plant supervision stopped at the end of April and we have moved to Unannounced Inspections in all the cutting plants on a regular basis.”
He explained that the installation/upgrade of CCTV across 2 Sisters was completed during May and that all sites would have live monitoring of the CCTV cameras, with all footage retained for 180 days.
Remote access to the system
The FSA would also have remote access to the system so it could monitor activity remotely.
An extensive ongoing refresher training programme has also been delivered to 82% of full-time employees in its UK poultry division and will be delivered annually.
New roles have been introduced including a learning & development facilitator and front-line manager and the UK Poultry Training Academy was now fully resourced.
Feeney added that despite the emergency measures being removed, the FSA and 2 Sisters would continue to work together to share information.
“We have formalised this into a 2 Sisters Intelligence Sharing Group, where FSA and 2 Sisters senior technical management review intelligence from consolidated audit results; feedback from company mystery employer and whistle-blower schemes; and regulatory audit and inspection results.
“Although still very much a pilot initiative we believe this could provide the template for a more effective, collaborative and transparent approach to regulatory assurance across the sector.”
Red Tractor work
Meawhile, Red Tractor also updated the EFRA Committee on its work since November.
In a letter, Jim Moseley, Red Tractor chief executive, outlined actions taken by the assurance scheme in response to the recommendations of the EFRA Committee Report – 2 Sisters and Standards in Poultry Processing – specifically the need to “work towards systematic sharing of data and intelligence to allow for unified records” and for “accreditation firms to tighten processes and remove obvious loopholes”.
It said: “Red Tractor now requires all licensees who are BRC-certified be subject to unannounced audits. All licensees who are BRC-certified have agreed that Red Tractor can access BRC audit results and details.
“Red Tractor will increase the proportion of its own unannounced assessments and traceability checks across the licensee estate.”
He added that Red Tractor was “investigating different approaches to future audits e.g. the use of culture assessment and ‘always auditing’ through the use of technology.
“This includes the use of CCTV, which we already specify for use in abattoirs, as a real-time means of viewing practices and behaviours impacting animal welfare.”
Food Safety Conference: book now
Changes in regulation and future threats are the focus of Food Manufacture’s Food Safety Conference, which takes place in Birmingham this June.
Leading the line-up is Nina Purcell, director of Wales and local delivery at the Food Standards Agency, who will offer an update on the move to a new risk-based approach to inspecting food and drink businesses.
Other speakers include: Andy Morling, head of food crime at the National Food Crime Unit; Dawn Welham, president of the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health; and Sue Davies, strategic policy adviser at Which?
Chaired by Campden BRI director general Professor Steven Walker, the conference will be held at etc.venues Maple House, Birmingham, on Thursday 21 June.