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UPDATE: Russell Hume meat recalled due to concerns around use by dates

Wetherspoons has cancelled its contract with the supplier after it was forced to cancel steak night on Tuesday January 23.


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Wetherspoons pulls steak on steak night after supplier recall

Russell Hume meat recalled due to concerns around use by dates

Russell Hume also supplied companies including Jamie Oliver, Greene King and Marston’s.

 

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) became aware of instances of serious non-compliance with food hygiene regulations, following an unannounced inspection of Russell Hume’s Birmingham site on January 12.

 

The pub chain will reintroduce sirloin steak, rump steak and gammon steak tomorrow (January 30).

 

Wetherspoon has since cancelled its contract with Russell Hume Ltd and is sourcing its steaks from a range of new suppliers in Britain and Ireland.

Wetherspoon chairman Tim Martin apologised to customers but said its decision was the correct one.

“Steak is one of the most popular dishes on our menu, and we serve around 200,000 per week on average, about half of these on our extremely popular Tuesday Night Steak Club.

“We have now sourced alternative suppliers and our pub staff are once again looking forward to serving the steak dishes from Tuesday January 30 onwards.”

 

Investigation

 

FSA and Food Standards Scotland were now investigating all sites and other locations where its product is stored, in England, Scotland and Wales.


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FSA said it had been concerned there was a ‘more systemic and widespread problem which was more serious in terms of its scale and nature’.

 

Issues of serious non-compliance were then uncovered relating to procedures and processes around use by dates.

 

FSA added there was no indication people have become ill from eating meat supplied by Russell Hume.

 

Jason Feeney, Chief Executive Officer of the Food Standards Agency said they had not taken the decision to stop production and instigate recalls lightly.

 

“Our job is to ensure that food produced by a business is safe and clearly we must take a proportionate approach,” he said.

 

Impact

 

He added they did recognise the potential impact on business but the non-compliance was serious and widespread enough to advise stopping all production at Russell Hume plants and initiate a withdrawal of products.

 

“We worked with the company to get this done as quickly and effectively as possible and our actions have been proportionate based on the evidence we have obtained.”

 

He added public health was its top priority.

 

“As the company have not been able to demonstrate they have a sufficiently robust management system in place it is absolutely right that we have taken these appropriate actions.”

Kath Dalmeny, chief executive of food and farming alliance Sustain said: “This is a disgusting story; Russell Hume have not been following the rules that are there to keep our food and families safe.

 

“We have been badly let down too many times on this issue. Dirty or out of date meat can cause serious illness and even death – that is why we have compulsory food standards.


“Our analysis shows severe cuts to funding and staffing in the Food Standards Agency and other bodies who police our food system.

 

“Regulation has become a dirty word lately, but we want more regulation, not less, when it comes to keeping unsafe meat off our plates.

 

“Our food inspectors are buckling under their workload and this is only set to get worse after Brexit when they have to inspect meat from countries whose food safety standards may be lower than our own.”

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