Britain’s food safety watchdog is taking concerns around alleged hygiene controls at Kepak’s Merthyr Tydfil factory in Wales very seriously, Chris Jones, head of operational delivery in Wales for the Food Standards Agency (FSA), has said.

“Food businesses are the first line of defence in ensuring food is safe and what it says it is. We are aware of the article by Wales Online sharing concerns around hygiene controls at Kepak in Merthyr Tydfil and are taking them very seriously.

“If we do identify any food safety or authenticity breaches, we will not hesitate to take urgent action to ensure consumers are protected,” Jones told the Irish Farmers Journal.

The FSA is responsible for official controls in all approved premises across England and Wales. It has a daily official veterinarian presence in the meat cutting plant at Kepak in Merthyr Tydfil.

Kepak response

A spokesperson for Kepak said that “health and safety are key priorities and stringent hygiene policies are rooted firmly in our daily operations”.

“Our food safety standards are independently verified, working closely with the Food Standards Agency (FSA) who have a daily presence onsite.

"Meanwhile, US [Department of Agriculture] audits are conducted monthly and include rigorous pre-production hygiene assessments.

“We have the highest accreditation available through the [Brand Reputation through Compliance Global Standard] which recently awarded us an AA+ rating based on an unannounced four-day audit. We are also regularly audited by our customers.

“Through our robust processes, we continue to maintain the very highest quality control procedures throughout the production and distribution process.”