Meat supplier to Wetherspoon's probed over food hygiene

Menu from Wetherspoon pub promoting steak night Image copyright PA

A meat wholesaler which supplies pub chain Wetherspoon, schools and care homes is being investigated over food hygiene concerns.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) said it had stopped any meat leaving Russell Hume company sites and unused meat had been withdrawn from its customers.

Wetherspoon pubs had removed steak from the menu on their weekly steak night.

Russell Hume said the recall was a "precautionary measure because of mislabelling".

The company, which also supplies a range of hospitality and catering businesses, added: "We have no reason to believe that the product was unsafe to eat."

In a statement on Wednesday the FSA said it had carried out an unannounced inspection of Russell Hume's Birmingham site on 12 January.

It then "became aware of instances of serious non-compliance with food hygiene regulations", it said.

'Poor practices'

As a result, investigations into food standards were carried out at all Russell Hume sites and other locations where its products were stored in England, Scotland and Wales, the agency said.

"Russell Hume were unable to demonstrate compliance with food hygiene rules at its locations, so we have stopped any product from leaving their sites until the business can provide assurances that they are complying with the relevant legislation, and that they are producing safe food," the FSA said.

The FSA has also told Russell Hume to withdraw "all affected product in the supply chain".

There was no indication that people had become ill from eating meat supplied by the company, according to the FSA.

But it said it was "concerned about the poor practices in place at their premises" which was why it had taken "proportionate action to ensure no meat can leave their sites at present".

Any unused Russell Hume meat has been "withdrawn" from its customers until the company "can provide reassurances".

The FSA said its investigations were continuing. Russell Hume was co-operating with its investigation and was "currently reviewing its procedures and retraining its staff", it added.

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