Meat supplier Russell Hume Recently at the centre of a food scare has gone into administration with the loss of almost 300 jobs blaming an investigation by food watchdogs which caused a production shutdown and led to cancelled contracts, as the cause.
Headquartered in Derby, Russell Hume operated from six sites across the UK, including a Scottish factory in Fife. All were closed down last month after the FSA launched an enquiry into allegations of breaches of food hygiene regulations.
Russell Hume’s directors said the FSA’s handling of case had forced it into administration, leading to hundreds of redundancies.
“Unfortunately, the FSA’s action created impossible trading conditions for us and after careful reflection we have decided the best thing for the company and its creditors is to put Russell Hume into administration,” they said in a statement.
“We will continue to work with the FSA with regards to the issues it raised but we still feel its action has been out of all proportion to the concerns it says it has identified. Had it worked more closely with us in the crucial early stages of the situation, then more than 300 jobs may not have been lost.
“The fact that its investigations have become industry-wide and a number of other firms have also had issues, strongly suggests there is a lack of clarity in the industry and in current FSA guidelines. Prior to this, we had a long, unblemished record for supplying quality meat products.”
The firm supplied millions of beef, chicken and pork cuts to Wetherspoon pubs, Jamie Olivers chain of restaurants, as well as Hilton Hotels, Greene King pubs, pubs, schools and care homes.
The FSA said there have been no reports of people becoming ill after eating meat Russell Hume supplied.
Chris Pole, partner at KPMG, said: “The recent product recall and halt in operations has caused significant customer attrition and trading difficulties, which in turn has led the directors to take the decision to place the company into administration.
“We will be seeking buyers for the business and its assets. Any interested parties are advised to contact us as soon as possible.”