Food Safety Scotland


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out-of-date meat.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A business supplying Tesco, Sainsbury’s and M&S may have misled customers into buying out-of-date meat.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Out-of-date meat stretch the products commercial life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

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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

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.

Empanada Selection contains sesame and prawns

Sesame and Prawns Allergy Alertsesame allergy. http// allergens crustaceans

The Co-operative Food has withdrawn packs of its Loved by Us 10 Piece Empanada Selection which contain sesame and prawns. These ingredients are not mentioned on the product label, which mean that the product is a possible health risk for anyone with an allergy to sesame and/or crustaceans (prawns).

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Keeping Your Customers Safe


Campylobacter is the most common cause of food poisoning in the UK and is considered to be responsible for more than 280,000 cases of food poisoning each year. More than 72,000 of these were confirmed to be campylobacter poisoning (also known as campylobacteriosis) by laboratory reports.

Eight Key Things You Can Do To Today

1.Defrost in the fridge
Place poultry in a covered container on the bottom shelf of the fridge to defrost away from cooked/ready-to-eat foods. Check poultry is fully defrosted before cooking.

2.Never mix raw poultry and cooked food
Keep raw poultry separate from cooked and ready-to-eat food.

3. Avoid cross-contamination
Ensure hands, equipment and surfaces are thoroughly cleaned with soap, hot water and appropriate disinfectant after contact with raw poultry or its packaging.

4. Cover and chill
Cover raw poultry and store at the bottom of the fridge so juices cannot drip on other foods.

5. Check it’s cooked
Poultry should be cooked thoroughly until steaming hot with no pink meat and juices must run clear. Check this at the thickest part. If barbecuing, consider pre-cooking in the oven first, then finish on the barbecue for flavour.

6.Don’t wash raw poultry
Splashing water spreads germs to hands, equipment, surfaces and other foods.

7. Cook marinades
Don’t put sauce or marinade on cooked food if it has already been used with raw poultry

8.Book TBDS REHIS Approved Training
REHIS Elementary Food Hygiene, REHIS Cross-Contamination, HACCP,In House Training Courses

Get involved now Food Standards Scotland

Tree nut ingredients labelling IKEA product recall

Product Contains Other Tree Nuts

IKEA is recalling its Russin & Mandel raisin and almond mix because the product contains other tree nut ingredients (cashews, brazils, walnuts, hazelnuts) which are not included in the ingredients list. This means the product is a possible health risk for anyone with an allergy to tree nuts.tree nut alert.




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The Truth About Campylobacter

People talking about the real life effects of food poisoning bug known as campylobacter. It’s the most common cause of food poisoning in the UK. It can be fatal. Spread the word, not the germs


campylobacter the risks of washing raw chicken.  For Information on Cross Contamination Training Courses througout Scotland please click on this link and visit our web page.