A spokesperson for the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has said it is taking hygiene concerns regarding a Welsh Kepak factory “very seriously”.

FSA head of operational delivery in Wales, Chris Jones, said the FSA is aware of an article by Wales Online sharing concerns around hygiene controls at Kepak in Merthyr Tydfil.

“Food businesses are the first line of defence in ensuring food is safe and what it says it is,” Jones said.

“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.”

The FSA is responsible for official controls in all approved premises across England and Wales.

There is daily official veterinarian presence in the meat cutting plant at Kepak in Merthyr Tydfil⁠, the FSA said.

To supplement the delivery of official controls, premises are subject to audits by FSA personnel and field veterinary co-ordinators also undertake unannounced visits to premises.

‘Stringent hygiene policies’

A spokesperson for Kepak said health and safety are “key priorities” for the company and “stringent hygiene policies are firmly rooted 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, USDA audits are conducted monthly and include rigorous pre-production hygiene assessments.

“We have the highest accreditation available through the BRCGS which recently awarded us an AA+ rating based on an unannounced four-day audit. We are also regularly audited by our customers.”

Through robust processes, the spokesperson said, Kepak continues to maintain “the very highest quality control procedures” throughout its production and distribution process.