The owner of a Fife-based food processing company has argued that an enforced product recall was “unnecessary and heavy handed” and could result in job losses.
Eat & Go Foods Co. Ltd, which is based in Mitchelston Industrial Estate, instigated the recall for some of its pastries, pies and sandwiches.
Foods Standard Scotland’s website noted the recall on Saturday, which applied to shops in Edinburgh, Dundee and Fife.
Eat & Go Foods contacted all of its customers, while anyone who had bought the items was urged not to eat them – and instead return them to the point of purchase.
Eat & Go Food was established in 1996. It is an accredited supplier to WRVS hospital shops, convenience stores, filling stations, retail shops, schools, colleges and universities across central and east of Scotland.
The company said it was told on Friday for the first time that products should have had a three-day shelf life rather than the six days it had operated on for many years “without any problem”.
Naji Yassen, managing director, said his company had complied with all of the stringent food processing requirements for many years and that the demands made by Food Standard Scotland would ultimately result in job losses.
“We have received regular inspections of our processes for 20 years, our production methods have never changed, and never once have inspectors had an issue until Friday,“ said Mr Yassen.
“The six-day shelf life has never posed a problem for the inspectors before, until now.
“I’m very upset and angry, how come all of a sudden six days is to long?”
He added the shorter shelf life would mean products would only be in shops for one day – a situation he said would be impossible for his business to work with.
“We sell on sale or return basis and and currently see 40 per cent back. If we have to work to a three day sell by date, return could be as high as 90 percent,” said Mr Yassen.
“I have 14 people employed here who I have had to send home because we have stopped production.
“I need to have this issue resolved as soon as possible otherwise it could mean jobs will have to go.”
A further meeting with food standard officers is to take place on Friday.