Meat supplier Russell Hume has gone into administration after blaming an investigation by food watchdogs.
KPMG Restructuring today announced it had been appointed as administrators of the firm, which is part of an investigation into meat cutting premises by the Food Standards Agency (FSA).
Russell Hume’s directors said the FSA’s handling of case had forced it into administration, leading to hundreds of redundancies.
“Unfortunately, the FSA’s action created impossible trading conditions for us and after careful reflection we have decided the best thing for the company and its creditors is to put Russell Hume into administration,” they said in a statement.
“We will continue to work with the FSA with regards to the issues it raised but we still feel its action has been out of all proportion to the concerns it says it has identified. Had it worked more closely with us in the crucial early stages of the situation, then more than 300 jobs may not have been lost.
“The fact that its investigations have become industry-wide and a number of other firms have also had issues, strongly suggests there is a lack of clarity in the industry and in current FSA guidelines. Prior to this, we had a long, unblemished record for supplying quality meat products.”
The firm supplied millions of beef, chicken and pork cuts to Jamie Oliver’s chain of restaurants, the JD Wetherspoon pub chain, Hilton hotels, Greene King pubs, schools and care homes.
Last month the firm was ordered to stop production by the FSA after an inspection found hygience problems including issues with use-by dates.
Headquartered in Derby, Russell Hume operated from six sites across the UK in Liverpool, Birmingham, London, Boroughbridge, Exeter and Fife. All were initially closed down by the FSA.
The FSA said there have been no reports of people becoming ill after eating meat Russell Hume supplied.
Last month the FSA widened the inquiry to all meat cutting premises and cold stores in the wake of the Russell Hume case and the issues found at 2 Sisters Food Group.
Chris Pole, partner at KPMG, said: “The recent product recall and halt in operations has caused significant customer attrition and trading difficulties, which in turn has led the directors to take the decision to place the company into administration.
“We will be seeking buyers for the business and its assets. Any interested parties are advised to contact us as soon as possible.”
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