UK meat scandal: Russell Hume beef sold to Cyprus

By Oscar Rousseau

- Last updated on GMT

This could be one of Britain's biggest food scandals since horsemeat, experts claim
This could be one of Britain's biggest food scandals since horsemeat, experts claim

Related tags Food standards agency Beef

The business at the centre of Britain’s biggest meat scandal in years, Russell Hume, sold potentially unhygienic beef to Cyprus.

GlobalMeatNews​ can confirm that an undisclosed quantity of frozen beef produced by UK meat processor Russell Hume was exported to Cyprus.

There has been distribution to Cyprus and, as a result, a notification was issued to authorities there last week,​” a spokesperson for the UK’s Food Standards Agency (FSA) told this site.

We do not know how much frozen beef was sold to Cyprus, nor do we know who imported it.

But the twist in the scandal comes after Russell Hume’s meat was pulled from the menus of pub chain JD Wetherspoon and Jamie’s Italian, owned by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, over concerns that Russell Hume failed to adhere to UK food hygiene laws.

The Russell Hume meat scandal started on 24 January, after an unannounced FSA inspection at the company’s Birmingham factory uncovered “serious non-compliance with food hygiene regulations​”.

The exact detail of the non-compliance allegations has not been disclosed, but the FSA said the issue was a “systemic and widespread problem”.

Production at all of Russell Hume’s factories has been stopped and a temporary ban on all product leaving its sites is in place. No meat will be allowed to leave Russell Hume sites until the company can prove its products are safe for consumption and comply with food safety laws.

Jason Feeney, CEO of the FSA, said: “Public health remains our top priority and at no stage in the process has there been any indication that people have become ill from eating meat supplied by Russell Hume. This remains the case and we continue to assess the situation, working with the relevant public health bodies.​”

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