Meat supplier Russell Hume has crashed into administration, sparking the loss of more than 300 jobs after a food hygiene probe caused customers JD Wetherspoon and Jamie’s Italian to end their contracts.
The Derbyshire-based firm became engulfed in scandal last month after the Food Standards Agency (FSA) launched an investigation over an alleged “serious” breach of food hygiene rules.
Pub group Wetherspoon also pulled sirloin, rump and gammon steak from the menu of its 900 UK and Irish pubs in response to what Russell Hume described as a “mislabelling” issue.
However, it is expected that all 302 jobs will be lost.
Chris Pole, KPMG joint administrator, 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.
“Regrettably, with little prospect of production restarting on site, a total of 266 people have been made redundant.
“We will also be seeking buyers for the business and its assets.”
Russell Hume, which supplied British Airways and Greene King, operated six production sites in Liverpool, Birmingham, London, Boroughbridge, Exeter and Fife.
The FSA revealed last month that it had become aware of hygiene issues at Russell Hume following an unannounced inspection of its Birmingham site.
They said: “After careful reflection we have decided the best thing for the company and its creditors is to put Russell Hume into administration.
“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 worked more closely with us in the crucial early stages of the situation, then more than 300 jobs may not have been lost.”
The directors said the firm had an “unblemished record” before the investigation and number of businesses had experienced “issues” with FSA investigations.
They claim there is a “lack of clarity” throughout the industry concerning the current FSA guidelines.