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FSA must clarify Russell Hume shutdown insists CIEH
The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) has expressed its extreme concern about the latest meat scandal - the second of its kind in the last couple of months.
Responding to the news that the meat and poultry supplier, Russell Hume, is under investigation from the Food Standards Agency (FSA) – and in the wake of the 2 Sisters’ chicken scandal in December 2017 – the CIEH has sent an unequivocal message to the FSA demanding transparency.
After inspections covering all Russell Hume sites in Britain, the FSA announced on Wednesday (24 January) that the company was “unable to demonstrate compliance with food hygiene rules” at its locations, and had been forced to stop all products from leaving their sites.
The FSA has also instructed Russell Hume to withdraw all of its affected products from the supply chain, impacting heavily on a range of major clients such as Wetherspoons.
Following on from the 2 Sisters chicken scandal in December, this further breach of hygiene standards in the UK food supply chain has caused serious concern.
Head of Policy at the CIEH, Tony Lewis, said: “This is deeply worrying, and it is essential that the FSA comes out and provides clarification about what exactly has been going on regarding Russell Hume. The public has been kept in the dark about the extent of the problem, and the statements made by the respective parties simply do not add up.
“It now transpires that Russell Hume has been under investigation for 12 days, and the public will want to know what the FSA has been doing in that timeframe. Can the FSA now guarantee that no unsafe meat has already entered the food chain from this source?
“The FSA must put consumers first and properly explain the situation and their actions. We need to know the full range of products affected and the extent of distribution across the UK. We also want to see an urgent independent review of processes and procedures surrounding FSA-approved premises in light of these events and the 2 Sisters scandal.
“These incidents demonstrate the importance of robust, regular and unannounced inspections of these kinds of establishments by competent environmental health experts.“
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