Industry comment on news that UK poultry supplier allegedly amending use-by dates on products
Published: 6 October 2017 - Sarah Mead
Following the news that one of the UK’s largest poultry suppliers is being alleged of amending use-by dates on its products, Duncan Moir, product manager at Epicor Software, comments:
“The possibility that so many instances of food fraud and unhygienic practices can occur at one of the UK’s largest poultry suppliers is shocking. Supermarkets around the country should today be assessing their audit trail to check whether their stock could be impacted.
"It seems that there has been a deliberate break down in process management in the plant, meaning accurate data has been sacrificed. For the industry to regain trust, all suppliers will need to be vocal on the steps they are taking to prevent future food fraud and show that they are prioritising end-to-end visibility across the supply chain.
"Even without being able to accurately trace the chicken against the output batches, the plant can still use their enterprise resource planning (ERP) system to identify the potential impact. By looking at the date the batch was shipped they could potentially identify the date of production and then identify all dispatches on that day as being suspect. This type of approach would cause a much bigger recall than if accurate recording was being done and correct manufacturing processes were being followed from the beginning.
Alleged instances of food fraud such as this should serve as a reminder to compliant manufacturers about the importance of accurate recording and detailed audit trails. Those manufacturers who prioritise compliance will be the ones who retain relationships with supermarkets, retain consumer confidence whilst fraudulent plants face criminal investigations.”