The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has withdrawn emergency measures it imposed on all 2 Sisters plants last autumn following the food hygiene expose by the Guardian and ITN, which required it to have an FSA inspector in all its plants at all times.
In a letter from Jason Feeney, the FSA’s chief executive, to the EFRA select committee tasked with investigating the company, Feeney said he was “confident the emergency measures of full time presence in all 2SFG standalone poultry cutting plants is no longer required. On this basis cutting plant supervision stopped at the end of April and we have moved to Unannounced Inspections in all the cutting plants on a regular basis.”
In the letter, dated 4 June, Feeney writes there has been continued work “towards tightening processes and approaching the considerable challenges associated with creating a unified database/record of standards and hygiene practices.”
The investigation was triggered by undercover footage filmed last autumn by journalists posing as staff who recorded hygiene breaches including chickens that had fallen on the floor being put back on the line, and kill dates being altered on chicken packs that could have affected the reliability of use-by dates.
In response, Red Tractor has strengthened its licensee terms and conditions with effect from 1 April 2018, Feeney writes in the new letter. “These now require all licensees who are BRC GS certified to opt in for unannounced audits and to agree to sharing all assurance information between RT and BRC GS.”