2 Sisters responds to tampering allegations
Published:  29 September, 2017

Poultry producer 2 Sisters Food Group has maintained that hygiene and food safety are priorities for its business following allegations of hygiene breaches and date tampering. 

In a report by The Guardian and ITV, which involved undercover workers at its plant in West Bromwich, it is alleged that returned chicken portions were repackaged and resent out; produce that had dropped on the floor had been returned to the production line; slaughter dates had been altered by staff and batches of chicken with different dates had been mixed together.

In response to the allegations, a 2 Sisters Food Group 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. We view these allegations extremely seriously.

“However, we have not been given the time or the detailed evidence to conduct any thorough investigations to establish the facts, which makes a fulsome response very difficult. What we can confirm is that hygiene and food safety will always be the number one priority within the business, and they remain at its very core.

“We also successfully operate in one of the most tightly-controlled and highly regulated food sectors in the world. We are subject to multiple and frequent unannounced audits from the FSA, BRC, Red Tractor, independent auditors as well as our customers. By example, our facility in the West Midlands under investigation received nine audits (five unannounced) in the months of July and August alone.

“However, we are never complacent and remain committed to continually improving our processes and procedures. If, on presentation of further evidence, it comes to light any verifiable transgressions have been made at any of our sites, we will leave no stone unturned in investigating and remedying the situation immediately.”

The allegations have also mentioned the business’ retail customers which include Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Marks & Spencer, Aldi and Lidl.

Richard Griffiths, chief executive of the British Poultry Council (BPC), said the allegations “demand investigation”.

“The allegations presented today by The Guardian/ITV are serious and demand investigation. As has been stated by the company, its retail customers, and its regulators, there will be thorough inquiries into what has happened, what needs to be corrected, and how future incidents can be avoided.

“Food safety is the number one priority for all food producers, and the company has clearly made that commitment. It would be unfair and unhelpful to speculate while all the parties involved are carrying out their investigations.”