Plus   Neg

Tesco: Poultry Factory Changed Sell-By Stickers


Tesco Plc (TSCO.L,TSCDY.PK) has become the fifth grocer in the UK to suspend all orders of chicken from 2 Sisters Food Group, forcing the supplier of supermarket chicken to temporarily suspend operations in one of its factories.

The move by Tesco and other retailers comes after an independent investigation revealed a breach of food safety and hygiene procedures at the poultry maker.

An undercover investigation by the Guardian and ITV News last week claimed that workers at 2 Sisters' West Bromwich plant allegedly altered the sell-by dates on poultry and also mixed meat of different ages.

On mixing meats of different ages, the slaughter date of the newest batch would be used, rather than the oldest batch. In addition, the source codes on crates of meat were alleged to have been changed by the factory employees.

Such practices of changing the dates could trigger the food processor to print incorrect use-by dates on supermarket packaging and thus artificially extend the shelf life of meat.

A spokesman for Tesco said its initial investigation supported the Food Standards Agency's findings that there was no current evidence of breach of food safety procedures. However, there have been isolated incidents where food quality procedures have not been followed.

In response, 2 Sisters said in a statement on Sunday that it was "shocked and distressed" by the allegations and the footage that it saw for the first time on September 28.

The company added that it has launched its own internal investigation at the West Bromwich plant and has invited the Food Standards Agency to independently review its standards.

"However, our internal investigation has shown some isolated instances of non-compliance with our own Quality management systems. We have therefore decided to temporarily suspend operations at the site to allow us the time to retrain all colleagues including management in all Food safety and Quality management systems," 2 Sisters said.

The poultry maker added that it will only recommence supply of chicken once it satisfied that its workers have been "appropriately retrained".

by RTTNews Staff Writer

For comments and feedback: editorial@rttnews.com

Business News

Follow RTT