Supermarket chicken supplier 2 Sisters investigated

UK's'Chicken King faces Inquiry after Safety Date'Fiddling

In response to the allegations, a 2 Sisters spokesperson said: "We have been made aware of several broad allegations made by The Guardian/ITV in relation to inappropriate procedures, food safety and hygiene issues at two of our poultry processing facilities".

Supermarkets in the United Kingdom have been warned that they could be selling chicken that is past its sell-by date after an investigation found that the largest supplier of chicken to United Kingdom supermarkets may be tampering with food safety records.

The undercover footage obtained by The Guardian and ITV was taken at 2 Sisters' plant in West Bromwich over 12 working days.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is now looking into accusations that the 2 Sisters Food Group duped shoppers into buying meat past its use-by date. Altering the slaughter date could artificially stretch the shelf life of the chicken and would make them untraceable if there was a food poisoning outbreak.

"Food safety and hygiene are 2SFG's top priorities", reads a letter from 2 Sisters Food Group's legal advisers, Schillings, to The Guardian.

According to an expose from The Guardian and ITV News workers at a plant run by 2 Sisters Food, which supplies a third of all the UK's chicken products as well as Tesco, Sainsbury's, Aldi, Marks & Spencer and Lidl, were encourages to change the labels on goods.

Old chicken portions returned by supermarket distribution centres were repackaged with fresher meat and sent out again to different grocers.

Picking up fallen that had fallen onto the floor and returning it to the production line. Workers said use-by dates printed on the packets of the mixed chicken tended to reflect the age of the freshest, rather than oldest, meat in the batch.

UK's'Chicken King faces Inquiry after Safety Date'Fiddling
Supermarket chicken supplier 2 Sisters investigated

"To the extent that you have identified any shortcomings (which is not admitted), these could only be isolated examples which our clients would take very seriously, and they are investigating the allegations made".

It said hygiene and safety remained at the "core" of its business, which was subject to frequent unannounced audits from the FSA and Red Tractor - the food industry's assurance scheme - among others. "We are concerned by these findings and are investigating".

An M&S spokesman said: "We have commenced an immediate investigation into these allegations and will not be taking any more product from the West Bromwich site until it has concluded to our satisfaction".

"We also successfully operate in one of the most tightly-controlled and highly regulated food sectors in the world".

Tesco added: "We operate to the highest possible food quality and safety standards, carrying out our own regular audits at all of our suppliers to ensure these standards are maintained".

"We have launched our own investigation into these allegations as a matter of urgency".

The statement continued: "We are never complacent and remain committed to continually improving our processes and procedures".

"Lidl UK takes the issue of food safety extremely seriously and, as such, we conduct independent audits to ensure that our high quality and safety standards are met".


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