A Derby-based meat supplier has been forced to make over 260 employers redundant after the firm went into administration.
The news follows a probe that was launched into the Pride Park-based business by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) earlier this month after its inspectors carried out an unannounced audit of one of its sites and found incorrect labelling on produce.
The action resulted in the supplier’s biggest customers, including Wetherspoons and Jamie’s Italian, cancelling their contracts.
The FSA forced Russell Hume to stop production at all of their sites and Jason Feeney, Chief Executive Officer of the Food Standards Agency said: “We don’t take decisions to stop production, instigate product recalls or withdrawals lightly.”
“Our job is to ensure that food produced by a business is safe and clearly we must take a proportionate approach.”
However, directors at Russell Hume have said in a statement that the action took by the FSA has created ‘impossible trading conditions’.
The statement said: “This decision has been heartbreaking. 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 (FSA) worked more closely with us in the crucial early stages of the situation, then more than 300 jobs may not have been lost.”
Chris Pole and Mark Orton, from KPMG Restructuring, have been appointed joint administrators at the firm, which also supplied a number of hotels and restaurants.
The company employs 302 people and out of 266 redundancies, it is not yet known if any of the jobs at the firm’s Derby’s headquarters are affected.