Review of meat cutting premises announced

Will Green is news editor of Supply Management
7 February 2018

Meat supplier Russell Hume has been allowed by watchdogs to resume production and shipments from one of its centres.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) said it was satisfied with assurances that the food safety management system at the firm’s Liverpool site met legal requirements.

Shipments were halted from all Russell Hume sites after an unannounced inspection in January found “instances of serious non-compliance with food hygiene regulations” and issues around use-by dates.

Meanwhile, the FSA has announced a wider review will take place of meat cutting premises and cold stores in the wake of the Russell Hume case and the problems found at 2 Sisters Food Group.

Heather Hancock, FSA chairman, and Ross Finnie, chair of Food Standards Scotland, said: “In the last six months the FSA and FSS have faced two serious incidents involving major players in the meat sector. People rightly expect food businesses to keep to the rules, rules designed to keep consumers safe and to sustain public trust in food – and food businesses have a duty to follow the regulations.

“In the light of these recent incidents, the FSA and FSS will be taking forward reviews of cutting plants and cold stores used for meat.”

Russell Humes supplies the hospitality industry, including pubs, restaurants and hotels, as well as care homes and schools.

Businesses including JD Wetherspoon, Jamie's Italian and Hilton were forced to take action, including the withdrawal of meat from Wetherspoon's popular steak night.

Jason Feeney, FSA chief executive, said: “The investigation is looking into all aspects of the business to establish more details about the serious and widespread problems that we identified. This will then determine whether additional enforcement action should be taken.”

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