Sisters halt production after allegations raised

Sisters halt production after allegations raised”

Marks & Spencer, Aldi, Lidl and The Co-op have stopped taking chickens from the site while investigations take place.

Experts said their actions could artificially stretch the commercial life of the meat and dupe consumers into buying chicken past its use-by date.

An investigation spearheaded by the Guardian and ITV News reported that an undercover reporter saw workers changing the kill dates on chicken.

Some workers also claimed the chicken that supermarkets reject is sometimes repackaged at the factory and sent out again.

The move follows an announcement by the chairman of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee who is considering a "short, sharp parliamentary inquiry" into food safety at 2 Sisters, the UK's largest supplier of chickens to supermarkets.

'Since the allegations were put to us by the Guardian/ITV, we have been working around the clock to get to the truth of the matter.

In a statement, the company said an internal investigation had shown "some isolated instances of non-compliance" at its plant in West Bromwich in the West Midlands.

"However, there have been isolated incidents where food quality procedures have not been followed and therefore, in agreement with 2 Sisters we have chose to suspend all orders from Site D so that staff can receive further training".

All colleagues will remain on full pay and will attend site whilst training is undertaken. It didn't give a timescale for the temporary closure, but said the plant would only re-open "once we are satisfied that our colleagues have been appropriately retrained".

The FSA has been in daily attendance since the allegations were raised and confirmed that it has not identified any breaches.

We remain committed to ensuring that we operate to the highest standards of hygiene and food safety, and we act with honesty and integrity at all times.

The regulator said earlier today it had already started an investigation into the allegations in ITV and The Guardian's report, but inspectors had found no evidence of breaches in food safety regulation thus far.

The food company issued a statement saying: "We continue to work closely with the FSA and our customers throughout this period".

Boparan founded the 2 Sisters Food Group in 1993 with a bank loan, and has since grown the firm into the UK's second largest food business by turnover.

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