Chicken scandal update: Health secretary orders factory probe

The secretary for health Jeremy Hunt has stepped into the chicken factory food safety scandal and ordered an immediate investigation at two 2 Sisters Food Group plants at Llangefni and Scunthorpe.

A Guardian investigation presented alleged evidence from a whistleblower of hygeine breaches increasing the risk of campylobacter contamination. The accusations were aimed at 2 Sisters and Faccenda, both of whom supply a number of major UK supermarkets and restaurant chains.

Supermarkets launched investigations of their suppliers straight away, and the Food Standards Agency (FSA) also immediately looked into the situation. An FSA spokesperson said it was satisfied with the action taken at the plant and that there was no risk to public health, adding that its most recent audit of this plant showed that it was fully compliant with the regulations.

However the FSA has now agreed to an emergency audit of the 2 Sisters plants for the department of health (DH). A DH spokesperson said: “Inspectors will be auditing the plants in the next 24 hours to ensure that operations are consistent with good hygiene practice and legislation. This will include a review of the plants’ CCTV footage.

“We want the public to feel reassured that the food they buy is safe.”

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