FSA to review food safety claims at United Kingdom chicken supplier

UK's'Chicken King faces Inquiry after Safety Date'Fiddling

FSA to review food safety claims at United Kingdom chicken supplier

A number of other large United Kingdom supermarkets have also been forced to launch their own investigations into their chicken supply chain after undercover footage emerged that allegedly showed workers dropping chicken on the floor before returning it to the production line at the Midlands factory.

"We have been made aware of several broad allegations made by The Guardian/ITV in relation to inappropriate procedures, food safety and hygiene issues at two of our poultry processing facilities".

The joint investigation involved taking secret recordings during a spell of 12 working days inside 2 Sisters' plant in West Bromwich.

Codes on crates of meat were also allegedly changed.

UK's'Chicken King faces Inquiry after Safety Date'Fiddling

An Aldi spokesperson said: "We have suspended supply from this site while we carry out an urgent investigation into these allegations".

The 2 Sisters factory processes around 6 million chickens a week, a staggering scale of production, and runs an annual operational profit of £90.5m from a £3.1bn revenue.

"Workers alter records of where chickens were slaughtered, potentially hindering authorities from recalling contaminated meat during food scares".

According to the investigation: "The group produces a third of all poultry products eaten in the United Kingdom and supplies top grocers including Tesco, Sainsbury's, Marks & Spencer, Aldi and Lidl". Chicken usually has a sell by date of 10 days after slaughter. All chicken received from the plant had been cleared from its shelves as a precautionary measure and all further deliveries had been stopped until M&S completed its own investigation of conditions in the chicken factory.

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The investigation claims that use-by dates printed on these mixed packets of chicken would reflect the age of the freshest - rather than the oldest - meat in the pack.

"My supervisor, he asked me do it ..." It is illegal to place incorrect use-by dates on food, which are set for safety reasons and differ from "best before" dates.

'No one who works there buys from supermarkets. we know it can be old chicken'.

Entrepreneur Ranjit Singh Boparan, said to be worth £544million, owns 2 Sisters.

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A spokesperson said: "Lidl UK takes the issue of food safety extremely seriously and we were very disappointed to see the unacceptable standards shown in yesterday's report".

"To the extent that you have identified any shortcomings (which is not admitted), these could only be isolated examples which our clients would take very seriously, and they are investigating the allegations made". We are looking into these allegations with our supplier'.

For its part, 2 Sisters said that hygiene and food safety "will always be the number one priority" in its business, and added that its facilities are subject to frequent unannounced audits from the FSA, BRC, and independent auditors.

A spokesman for the supermarket giant said: "We operate to the highest possible food quality and safety standards, carrying out our own regular audits at all of our suppliers to ensure these standards are maintained".

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Bosses at 2 Sisters 2 Sisters said it viewed the allegations "extremely seriously" and have vowed to leave "no stone unturned" in its investigation.

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