2 Sisters reopens West Bromwich plant

Poultry processor 2 Sisters Food Group is to resume production at its West Bromwich chicken factory this week and start supplying a number of supermarkets again.

The site was closed temporarily for over a month following an undercover investigation by The Guardian and ITV News which revealed poor hygiene standards and the altering of food safety records.
 
Measures introduced to rectify the issues include the appointment of full-time Food Standards Agency (FSA) officials to support the management team, extended CCTV cameras and the retraining of staff, prompting Marks & Spencer (M&S), Aldi and Tesco to once again accept orders from the plant.

A Food Standards Agency spokesperson said: “Our inspectors have been present at the plant since the allegations were first made and we continue to investigate the evidence, including CCTV footage, to see if incidents of non-compliance took place.

FSA staff currently remain present on site during operations, at the request and expense of 2 Sisters Food Group. This measure has no direct impact on the investigation, but any incidences of non-compliance will result in prompt and proportionate action.”

An M&S spokesman told Meat Trades Journal it had been working closely with 2 Sisters in recent weeks and had assessed the site over the past few days, finding “significant changes”, “improvements in production processes” and a “positive impact” as a result of staff retraining.

“We have assessed the changes made at the site by 2 Sisters and are confident it can meet our high production standards,” a spokesperson for M&S said. “We will work closely with the site’s management team and the FSA in the coming weeks.”

A Tesco spokesperson said: “Following the retraining programme carried out by 2 Sisters at its West Bromwich site, we can confirm we will begin to receive orders from the site again in the coming days. We are satisfied the issues have been addressed and work will now be carried out to our high production standards. We’ll continue to work with 2 Sisters and the FSA as the site gets back up and running.”

An Aldi spokesperson added: “As a result of the remedial measures 2 Sisters Food Group has put in place, we are satisfied that all issues have been resolved.”

In a statement, 2 Sisters said: “We can confirm that following comprehensive retraining sessions with all colleagues during October, we are restarting production at our site D facility in West Bromwich (w/c 6 November).
“This will be phased over the coming weeks, working closely with our customers in the process.

“We would like to thank our colleagues at the site who have acted with understanding and professionalism during this unsettling period.”

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