The Committee visited ‘Site D’ in West Bromwich as part of its inquiry into allegations made over food safety breaches at the plant last September. Undercover footage obtained by ITV and The Guardian showed chicken returned by supermarkets being repackaged and resold, meat dropped on the floor being returned to the production line and the changing of slaughter dates and use-by labels. The revelations led to the temporary closure of ‘Site D’ and Boparan himself being called before an EFRA Committee in October.
As part of the process, Boparan agreed to a raft of food safety measures at the business, including the sharing of the forensic report by 2 Sisters into the ITV and The Guardian allegations, installing CCTV at all plants, placing mystery workers at poultry sites, and inviting the EFRA Committee for an unannounced visit.
Neil Parish MP, chair of the EFRA Committee, said: “It is essential that large UK food producers maintain the highest standards of production at their processing plants. We have seen time and again that when poor standards are exposed and production is halted, as happened recently at 2 Sisters, it is small businesses, suppliers and farmers who suffer.
“We visited the 2 Sisters plant to assess the progress that has been made against the commitments made by Mr Boparan to the Committee.
“We are satisfied that the actions he committed to – including installing CCTV cameras throughout the facility and installing a permanent FSA [Food Standards Agency] inspector – have been enacted. We will continue to monitor the situation and consider any further breaches in food standards that are brought to our attention.”
A 2 Sisters spokesman told Food Manufacture: “We are very pleased the committee decided to accept our invitation to visit our site D factory. It has been a successful visit and the initial feedback we have received has been very positive.
“We have an industry-leading operation at Site D, take a lot of pride in our work, and so we were keen to show our visitors the dedication of our colleagues, our commitment to training, and the investments we have made in new technology.
The staff forum session we held with the committee went very well, so they could hear first-hand from our front-line colleagues who work extremely hard to produce quality, safe products every day.”
A review into meat cutting plants in the UK is also being carried out while all slaughterhouses are now legally obliged to have CCTV systems in place.