Food Safety Scotland

Kim Payne

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Raw Chicken Fiddles? Where does yours come from?

UK’s top supplier of supermarket chicken may have fiddled food safety dates

out-of-date meat.

prepared chicken

Guardian/ITV News investigation reveals

A business supplying Tesco, Sainsbury’s and M&S may have misled customers into buying out-of-date meat. The largest supplier of chicken to UK supermarkets has been reported as having tampered with food safety records in ways that could dupe consumers into buying meat past its recommended use-by date.

Altering the slaughter date

An investigation by the Guardian and ITV News recorded undercover footage of workers altering the slaughter date of poultry being processed at a UK food plant. The group owning this plant produces a third of all poultry products eaten in the UK and supplies top grocers including Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Marks & Spencer, Aldi and Lidl.


When informed of the evidence, all five retailers responded saying they would start immediate investigations.

Out-of-date meat stretch the products commercial life

Experts said the practice of changing “kill dates” could artificially stretch the commercial life of meat products by triggering the food processor to print incorrect use-by dates on supermarket packaging.Workers at the company confirmed they had been asked to switch these labels on other occasions.
It is illegal to place incorrect use-by dates on food, which are set for safety reasons and differ from “best before” dates.The joint investigation, which involved taking secret recordings during a spell of 12 working days inside a plant in West Bromwich, also captured evidence that:

  • Chicken portions returned by supermarket distribution centres are being repackaged and sent out again to major grocers.
  • Chickens dropped on the floor of the processing plant and returned to the production line.
  • Records changed of where chickens were slaughtered, potentially hindering authorities from recalling contaminated meat during food scares.
  • Chickens slaughtered on different dates are mixed up on the production line. Some use-by dates printed on the packets of the mixed chicken reflecting the age of the freshest, rather than oldest meat


“Poor Standards”

Having been shown the evidence, Prof Chris Elliott, a food safety academic from Queen’s University Belfast who led the UK government’s independent review of food systems following the 2013 horse meat scandal, said: “Over the past three to four years I have conducted many inspections of food businesses right across the UK. I have never seen one operate under such poor standards as the video evidence shows.
“I think [this] absolutely calls out for a full investigation. We need to get environmental health officers, we need to get the Food Standards Agency to do a thorough investigation. The Food Standards Agency will take this very seriously. They will look at the premises and see if there are grounds to close the facility down.”

Company Response

NB The company said it had not been given enough time or detail to respond to the allegations, which it described as “false”.
A letter from their legal advisers, Schillings, said: “Food safety and hygiene are 2SFG’s top priorities. 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.”
The company added that they: “ensure all staff are fully trained on hygiene and safety matters, and that they enforce a number of policies to ensure compliance with all regulations. The plant is subject to regular audits in these areas and staff have a number of ways in which to voice their concerns.

“Rodents Run Riot”

Large Fine Afer Dead Rodents and Flies DiscoveredRodent Pest control.

A major Supermarket chain has been fined £300,000 for food safety failings after inspectors found dead mice and flies at a home delivery depot.

Council safety officers made the discovery in the bread section at the site in Enfield, which distributes food to online shoppers in London and Essex.

Mouse Droppings

They also found mouse droppings on shelves and in a packet of cereal, while a pack of sugar in the home baking aisle had been gnawed by rodents.
Inspectors also found the shells of fly pupae under shelves, spilt foodstuffs and rotting coriander in home delivery trays when they visited the depot on May 27 last year.

The retailer was fined and ordered to pay £4,843 costs after it admitted three food safety and hygiene breaches at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court.

Daniel Anderson, the cabinet member for environment, said: “It beggars belief that a national retailer would allow food to be stored in an environment where rodents are running riot.

Take Steps To Protect Your Business

Food Hygiene Training from TBDS ( simply click for more details)

Food Safety Events Edinburgh in October, November, December

Easy On Line Booking REHIS Elementary Food Hygiene Courses – 2017
Edinburgh – The Eric Liddell Centre


book on-line .

  • October 10th
  • November 9th
  • December 7th
  • Time 9.30am to 5.00 pm
  • Book on line now at
  • Click on Calendar and follow instructions
  • Includes teas, coffees REHIS Food Hygiene Handbook and Examination Fee.
  • Cost £65 for each Delegate. A TBDS Food Safety Event

Campylobacter Wash Your Hands Before Eating Snacks

Wash Your Hands Before Eating Snacks

It has been reported in the UK Press that that shoppers who eat snacks with their hands after picking up plastic packs of raw supermarket chicken are putting themselves at risk.

Wash Your Hands Campylobacter risk.

UK leading food safety experts have reportedly warned that shoppers should wash their hands before snacking and feeding children, after it has emerged that 9 million packs of chickens are sold each year with a dangerous dose of deadly bacteria on the outside.


A Daily Telegraph investigation has established that the plastic exterior of more than 1 in every 100 raw chickens sold by Britain’s biggest retailers is harbouring a potentially infectious level of Campylobacter which is now the UK’s leading cause of food poisoning with 485,000 recorded cases last year.

100 Deaths

Although the FSA had previously described the risk of people becoming ill as a result of bacteria on the outside of packaging as “extremely unlikely”, it estimates that the bug causes around 100 deaths a year. The FSA has previously focussed on educating,caterers and the public about the safe handling and cooking of raw chicken meat. But now food safety experts are now warning that hungry shoppers who eat snacks with their bare hands after picking up plastic packs of raw supermarket chicken are unwittingly putting themselves at risk.

Cross Contamination

An independent food hygiene expert has been quoted as saying: “I strongly suspect that many food poisoning cases are from cross contamination, which may involve the spread of bacteria from contaminated hands to mouth as well as via contaminated food.The ways of transmission can be much wider than people think.  “For example people quite often get hungry in the supermarket and may buy snacks such as crisps to eat on the way home. But if they’ve picked up chicken with bacteria on the outside packaging and licked their fingers they could consume enough bacteria to become ill.” Levels Of Bacteria

Tim Lang at the Centre for Food Policy, said it was “shocking” that 9 million packs of chicken with potentially dangerous levels of bacteria on the outside were being sold per year without more being done to protect the public.
He said: “This is an extremely unwise position for the FSA to be taking. Reducing cross contamination should be their number one concern. No consumer expects to become ill as a result of touching plastic packaging while shopping. At the least shoppers should be washing their hands after picking up chicken, but how far do you go? Should they be provided with rubber gloves as well?”

Addressing The Problem

A source close to the situation claimed that supermarkets have been particularly reluctant to address the problem of campylobacter lurking on the outside of packaging as they are concerned it could scare consumers and have a negative impact on chicken sales.
Last year a number of major supermarkets ignored the FSA’s calls for them to reduce the risk of cross contamination by offering small plastic bags to separate raw chicken from other food.
The FSA’s former chief executive Catherine Brown previously admitted supermarkets had “pushed back” against providing information on campylobacter, claimed they were unhappy over its league tables, which named and shamed individual retailers.

FSA Statement

In 2015 the FSA issued a statement which said: “In our year-long survey of campylobacter levels in UK shop-bought chicken, we found only five of more than 4011 samples (0.1pc) had the highest levels of campylobacter on the outside packaging. It is extremely unlikely that someone could become ill from the packaging.”
But a recent analysis by The Daily Telegraph of the FSA’s own data suggests the risk was ten times higher than indicated by this statement.  In 2015 1.3pc of packs had had a medium level of bacteria on the outside, which scientists agree is a high enough dose to make someone ill. Data for 2016 showed 1.1pc of packs had this level on the outer packaging.
Of the around 650 million chickens sold in supermarkets every year it means around 9 million have a potentially infectious level of bacteria on the outer pack.

FSA Overall Risk Is Low

An FSA spokesman said: “We have never said that the only risk is from packs with the highest level of bacteria. We have said that these present the greatest risk from the packaging, although we maintain that the overall risk is extremely low.”
Andrew Opie, director of food and sustainability at the British Retail Consortium, which represents supermarkets, said: “Tackling campylobacter is the number one food safety priority for UK retailers and they are making real progress with partners like poultry processors and farmers in tackling this issue. Customers know the importance of safe handling and cooking of raw meat at home and supermarkets provide clear and simple on-pack advice to help with this.”
The FSA confirmed it will return to naming and shaming retailers in its forthcoming campylobacter update which is due to be published next month.

Training in the dangers of Cross Contamination Contact TBDS

hygiene training

Salmonella Safety. Food Poisoning May Permanently Damage The DNA

Salmonella Safety Warning

People infected with salmonella often suffer from fever, diarrhoea, and severe abdominal pain between 12 and 72 hours after infection. The illness can last between four and seven days and most people recover even without getting medical treatment.

Findings of a new study conducted by food scientists from Cornell University, however, showed that some serotypes, or variations of salmonella species, may have permanent unwanted effects such that they can cause damage to the DNA.

For the new study, which was published in the journal mBio in December 2016, Cornell University researchers Rachel Miller and Martin Wiedmann looked at several serotypes of salmonella that encode for cytolethal distending toxin (S-CDT), a virulence component for the serotype responsible for typhoid fever.

The researchers found that four salmonella serotypes that commonly cause foodborne illness also carry the genetic material that encodes S-CDT. Although there are more than 2,500 salmonella serotypes, fewer than 100 are responsible for most of the foodborne illnesses.

With the aid of human cells grown in the laboratory, the researchers also found that the salmonella strains with S-CDT cause hallmark signatures that hint of DNA damage. The researchers explained that this ability to cause DNA damage may result in long-term health consequences.

“The more you expose your body’s cells to DNA damage, the more DNA damage that needs to be repaired, and there may one day be a chance that the DNA damage is not correctly repaired. We don’t really know right now the true permanent damage from these salmonella infections,” Miller said.

Salmonella Bacteria

REHIS Food Hygiene Training Glasgow

Royal Environmental Health Institute of Scotland hygiene.

Elementary Food Hygiene Courses – 2017




  • Where – Glasgow – Scottish Youth Hostel
  • When – March 15th
    April 25th
    May 17th
  • 9.30am to 5.00 pm
  • Food Hygiene & Safety Important to your business? Book on line now at Click on Calendar and follow instructions
  • Includes teas, coffees REHIS Food Hygiene Handbook and Examination Fee
    £65 for each Delegate.


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REHIS Approved Food Hygiene Training Edinburgh

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Book Edinburgh Training Course Today

Royal Environmental Health Institute of Scotland Elementary Food Hygiene Courses – 2017
Edinburgh – The Eric Liddell Centre

  • March 14th
  • April 4th
  • May 16th
  • Time 9.30am to 5.00 pm
  • Book on line now at Click on Calendar and follow instructions
    Includes teas, coffees REHIS Food Hygiene Handbook and Examination Fee.
    Cost £65 for each Delegate.


REHIS Training Course Inverness

Royal Environmental Health Institute of Scotland Elementary Food Hygiene Courses – 2017
Inverness – Scottish Youth Hostel

  1. March 16th
  2. April 20th
  3. May 25th

Time 9.30am to 5.00 pm
Book on line now at Click on Calendar and follow instructions
Includes teas, coffees REHIS Food Hygiene Handbook and Examination Fee.
Cost £65 for each Delegate.

Restaurant Closed

REHIS Elementary Food Hygiene Courses Stirling

Royal Environmental Health Institute of Scotland

Elementary Food Hygiene Courses – 2017



  • October 3rd Stirling
  • October 10th Edinburgh
  • October 19th Inverness

9.30am to 5.00 pm

  • Book on line now at Click on Calendar and follow instructions
  • Includes teas, coffees REHIS Food Hygiene Handbook and Examination Fee
  • £65 for each Delegate.

It is said that “One Mouse = Two thousand new Mice a Year”

Allergen Alerts Continue Daily

Waitrose recalls Lovelife Peanuts & Raisins due to undeclared almonds, brazil nuts, cashews, and walnuts
Island Delight is recalling its Vegetable Short Crust Pattie as due to a manufacturing error, some packets may contain its Salt Fish Short Crust Pattie and will have incorrect allergen information on the packaging.

TRS Wholesale Co. Ltd recalls Bambino Quickeat Poha because of incorrect declaration of peanut.
TRS is recalling Bambino Quickeat Poha 110g because it contains peanut which is not correctly emphasised within the ingredients list. This means the product is a possible health risk for anyone with an allergy to peanuts.
Mackays Ltd is recalling two condiments containing sulphur dioxide not mentioned on the label
Mackays Ltd is recalling two condiment products that contain sulphur dioxide which is not mentioned on the label. This means the products are a possible health risk for anyone with a sensitivity to sulphur dioxide and/or sulphites.

Dorset Cereals recalling muesli range from Fulton Foods after incorrect allergens information
Dorset Cereals (a trading name of ABF Grain Products Limited) is recalling some of its Dorset Cereal muesli products sold at Fultons Foods because the allergens information is not emphasised correctly in the ingredients list.

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