FSA allows one Russell Hume site to resume production

By Joseph James Whitworth

- Last updated on GMT

Picture: iStock
Picture: iStock

Related tags Food standards agency

Russell Hume has been allowed to restart processing and distributing meat from one of its sites.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) and Food Standards Scotland (FSS) said they had received assurances the food safety management system of the Liverpool site met legal requirements.

Production and distribution was halted at all Russell Hume sites two weeks ago, following an unannounced inspection at a plant in Birmingham, until the firm could provide assurances it was complying with legislation.

The investigation relates to non-compliance with food hygiene regulations including an allegation that ‘use by’ dates on some meat products supplied by the company were extended. The company has not commented on the incident.

FSA and FSS said the move will have no impact on the ongoing investigation and staff for both organisations remain at sites in England and Scotland.

“This decision has been taken on the basis that we are now assured that the food being produced at the Liverpool site complies with the relevant legislation. The action taken has been proportionate and we recognise the potential impact on the business and peoples’ livelihoods.”

The agencies are also planning to review meat cutting premises and cold stores following the concerns raised at Russell Hume and 2 Sisters Food Group West Bromwich plant last year.

Tony Lewis, head of policy at the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH), previously called on FSA to clarify the situation.

“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," ​he said.

“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.

“The FSA must put consumers first and properly explain the situation and their actions.”

CIEH represents 8,000 members working in the public, private and non-profit environmental health sectors.

Related topics Food safety & quality

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