The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee (EFRA) has said it is ‘pleased’ with the progress 2 Sisters Food Group is making at its plant in West Bromwich following allegations of hygiene breaches last year.
Ranjit Singh Boparan, president of 2 Sisters, is said to have delivered on the promises he made as a response to the allegations made against his plant, as well as making progress with his medium and longer-term ambitions to re-establish confidence in his products.
2 Sisters received heavy media attention last year after an undercover reporter for ITV and The Guardian accused the business of hygiene and safety breaches. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has been working with the company to rectify any issues.
EFRA has not proposed plans to examine in depth whether 2 Sisters has been in breach of food safety regulation or food hygiene best practice, neither will it suggest sanctions.
Instead, the committee’s report has focused on the steps to be taken by 2 Sisters to prevent a re-occurrence of such incidents in future.
On 10th November, Boparan wrote to EFRA with an update on the commitments he had made in an evidence-gathering session on 25th October. In that letter he confirmed that:
• “Full installation” of CCTV would be complete in 120 days.
• A full-time FSA inspector is now based at the West Bromwich cutting plant.
• “Mystery workers” would be based in 2 Sisters poultry factories by the end of January 2018.
EFRA’s report reveals: “As well as the personal cost to Mr Boparan of the temporary suspension of Site D, many others have lost out from the failings highlighted in his plant.
“In that context we were pleased to hear of the short and medium-term steps he is taking to prevent a re-occurrence and future stoppages in his plant.
“We request that Mr Boparan continues to update us on his progress in both installing these new measures and on re-establishing his supplier relationship with the main retailers.”
EFRA recommends that FSA provides the committee with written assurance that each reform promised to them by the accreditation agencies, 2 Sisters Food Group and FSA itself has been made, no later than six months from the publication of its latest report.
To read the full EFRA report, click here.