A large chicken processing business, 2 Sisters was the biggest supplier of supermarket chicken in the United Kingdom with a turnover of £1.1 billion in 2017. During that year, an undercover investigation revealed poor hygiene practices and tampering with date codes was taking place at one of the firm’s processing plants in West Bromwich. Investigators also alleged that products returned from distribution centres that should have been destroyed were repackaged as if they were fresh, and that the ‘kill dates’ for chickens were deliberately misrepresented so as to extend the expiry date of the finished products.
The Food Standards Agency investigated and in addition found fraudulent practices within the Salmonella testing of the carcasses. Salmonella testing is a regulatory requirement in the United Kingdom. In the wake of the investigations, operations at one plant were suspended for 2 weeks, while another was closed permanently. In April, it was announced that another plant, in Scotland will be closed later this year.
This week, 2 Sisters reported losses of £38 million for the year, a figure that was reported to have ‘ballooned’ by 80% after the fraudulent practices were uncovered.