The agency has reviewed video footage and photographs gathered by The Guardian of three specific incidents at the plants and checked against its own records. It has announced that it is satisfied that the specific problems at the plants were addressed appropriately at the time by the business and did not present a food safety risk.
However, the agency notes, The Guardian investigation highlighted broader concerns about practices at the plants, including chickens that had fallen onto the floor being put back on production lines. Given these allegations, audits and investigations were started last week.
British Poultry Council response
In response to the allegations, the British Poultry Council (BPC) notes that the incidents highlighted by The Guardian have been thoroughly investigated and corrective action has been taken to ensure they do not happen again. The events were isolated, the BPC notes, and are in no way representative of the high standards of the chicken industry as a whole.
Food safety is the top priority for BPC members, the organization continues, and the companies concerned have strenuously denied the allegations accompanying the images, and have restated their commitment to producing safe food for all their customers.