McLaren speaks out

A former boss of McLaren Foods has spoken out over allegations reported by the BBC that the company delivered meat "in rancid conditions".

Micah Hobson, a former director of the company said the allegations were old. He said the company had ceased to trade on 5 March 2007. "These serious allegations have come from former disgruntled employees who made up a small percentage of staff. The EHO visited the site in question and found it fit for requirements."

Hobson added the company had traded for 20 years and had always welcomed both external and internal audits in relation to food safety and hygiene. He said its operations were fully accredited by a number of organisations, including an A grade with the BRC and it also held STS Accreditation, relating to the NHS; under which, product samples were required to be taken from individual customers for analysis.

According to the BBC report, a former employee, van driver Alan Castell, alleged there were a number of potentially fatal breaches of health, safety and hygiene laws dating back more than two years.

No action is to be taken against McLaren Foods as the company has now gone into administration, it was reported.

Stuart Roberts, director of the British Meat Processors Association, said: "We need to treat reports like these with some care, and look at where they came from."

Castell had been taking a case of unfair dismissal, under whistle-blowing legislation, to an employment tribunal, the BBC said.

The action however was abandoned when the company went into administration.

McLaren Foods supplied hotels in London it also supplied schools, hospitals and government offices.