The Food Standards Agency (FSA) in the UK has carried out inspections at two poultry processing plants of the 2 Sisters Food Group incriminated in a recent newspaper article, passing both plants.
"Both sites – at Scunthorpe and Llangefni –passed the rigorous audit processes which were carried out on July 25th. Scunthorpe has been rated as "Good" and Llangefni as "Generally satisfactory"", the company said in a statement.
"The audit follows unfounded allegations in the national media about alleged hygiene issues at both sites. 2 Sisters has consistently denied these allegations as untrue, misleading and inaccurate."
The FSA has recently introduced a new, more thorough audit process – with four rating outcomes – Good; Generally Satisfactory; Improvement necessary and Urgent Improvement necessary.
The UK has one of the most stringent food safety regimes in the world. 2 Sisters – like all food processers – is regularly audited by the FSA, Defra and the British Retail Consortium. This is in addition to regular unannounced customer audits and internal audits.
Ranjit Singh, CEO of 2 Sisters Food Group, said: "We welcomed these audits and we are pleased the FSA has worked with typical rigor and thoroughness. We are satisfied with their findings which show that no legislative compliance issues were raised."
"However, we must not be complacent. We operate our business in an environment of continual improvement and we will be carrying on with that to ensure we produce first-class British products for all of our customers.
"We will continue to be at the forefront of our sector by investing in our sites and leading from the front in tackling key challenges to our industry like campylobacter."
In November 2013, 2 Sisters launched the UK's biggest ever independent study into campylobacter, costing £6m and collecting data from 124m birds. This study has been praised as sector-leading by the FSA and our interim report will be published next year.
In separate findings, the FSA has also released its latest quarterly figures for the UK poultry industry, providing a measure of our campylobacter rates at the point of sale. 2Sisters' industry-leading position is maintained as chickens at all processing sites in the UK ran at 15.4% - a 3% improvement on the last quarterly data.
This progress is ahead of the next stages of 2 Sisters' campylobacter trials – which includes both farm and factory interventions designed to reduce rates even further.