Hygiene allegations spark KP Snacks Ashby probe

By Rod Addy contact

- Last updated on GMT

The factory makes Hula Hoops and own-label Hula Hoop-style products
The factory makes Hula Hoops and own-label Hula Hoop-style products

Related tags: Ambient, Food safety, hygiene & cleaning

KP Snacks has launched an investigation into its Ashby-de-la-Zouch factory, which makes Hula Hoops and Hula-Hoops-style own-label products for major retailers, following anonymous hygiene allegations raised against it.

The Daily Star first reported comments yesterday from ‘a whistleblower’, who claimed the plant was ‘rarely’ cleaned and supplied pictures and video footage to illustrate the assertions.

In a statement, KP Snacks said: “We take food safety and hygiene very seriously and care passionately about the health and wellbeing of our colleagues.

“Our Ashby factory is regularly audited both internally and by BRC Global Standards and our customers. All of these audits are always unannounced and have not identified any major issues. In the last week we have hosted three separate audits by our retail customers at our Ashby site, all of which approved the site for continued production.

8-10 hour deep clean

“The production lines are shut down weekly for an 8-10 hour deep clean and there is a clean as-you-go policy to address spillages that do happen in the manufacturing environment.

“An engaged workforce is incredibly important to us and therefore we’ve invested significantly in developing an open culture with meaningful two-way communication. We have internal processes to enable colleagues to raise concerns, and these include an anonymous whistleblowing hotline and an annual engagement survey.

“We are carrying out a thorough investigation as a result of the issues raised by this individual.”

The Daily Star’s source claimed​ floors, walls and machines were covered in black dust and products routinely fell off conveyor belts and sat discarded “all over the place” ​for months.

Aldi, Marks and Spencer and Sainsbury investigating

Aldi and Marks and Spencer had sent inspectors to the site to check how it was running following the allegations, according to the Daily Star article. Sainsbury has confirmed it has also launched an investigation.

A Sainsbury spokesperson said: “We take the safety and quality of our products extremely seriously and are investigating with our supplier.”

An Aldi spokesperson said: “We require all suppliers to operate to the highest possible standards and are disappointed to learn of these allegations. We are investigating these claims as a matter of urgency.”

An M&S spokesperson said: “Food hygiene is our top priority at M&S and we work closely with our suppliers to ensure our high standards are maintained. We are fully investigating this with our supplier.”

Related topics: Food Safety, Ambient foods

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