Responding to the news that the meat and poultry supplier, Russell Hume, is under investigation from the Food Standards Agency (FSA), the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) has expressed its extreme concerned about this latest meat scandal, the second of its kind in the last could couple of months.
After inspections covering all Russell Hume sites in Britain, the FSA announced yesterday 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 have also instructed Russell Hume to withdraw all of their affected products from the supply chain, impacting heavily on a range of major clients such as Wetherspoons.
Following on from the 2 Sisters 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 kind of establishments by competent environmental health experts. “
Notes to editors
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About the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH):
The CIEH is the professional voice for environmental health representing more than 8,000 members working in the public, private and non-profit sectors. It ensures the highest standards of professional competence in its members, in the belief that through environmental health action people's health can be improved.
Environmental health has an important and unique contribution to make to improving public health and reducing health inequalities. The CIEH campaigns to ensure that government policy addresses the needs of communities and business in achieving and maintaining improvements to health and health protection.