LAB MIX UP GRIEFFriday, 19th Aug 2011
South Ayrshire Council has today (Friday 19th August) acknowledged that a lab mix up led to them incorrectly stating that two Ayr based butchers stocked meat products contaminated with E.coli O157.
In a press statement the Council admitted that the mix-up occurred as a result of “laboratory cross-contamination”, the first such incident at the Glasgow Scientific Services laboratory for many years.
Both the businesses involved - J Martin of Main Road, Whitletts and A Pickens & Sons of Alloway Street - have been given a completely clean bill of health by the Council which stated: “there is no risk to public health and products from the two premises can continue to be enjoyed by customers.”
Today’s statement was welcomed by the two businesses which had been named, completely inaccurately, as having potted meat products contaminated with the bug.
Douglas Scott, Chief Executive of Scottish Federation of Meat Traders acknowledged the Council statement but highlighted the completely unnecessary upset this had caused both businesses, which take great pride in the quality and safety of the food they sell.
“These businesses have been trading for well over 160 years between them and have a well deserved unblemished history of great service and products as well as excellent standards of health and hygiene.
“It is therefore extremely unfortunate they should be the completely innocent victims of this lab botch-up,” said Mr Scott.
Both butchers thanked their customers for their support and continued custom during the mix-up.
A Pickens and Sons is a long established butchers business which has been serving the Ayr community since 1870 and employs 17 local people, taking great pride in producing safe and wholesome food.
Gordon Picken said: “We recognise the profound apologies of the local authority for the mix up in the lab which led to the inaccurate results and we have been delighted that our customers have retained confidence in us.”
J Martin in Whitletts has been owned by Grahame Arnott since 1986. Grahame added: "I would like to reassure our customers that South Ayrshire Council have closely examined all our procedures and confirmed that we comply with all relevant food safety requirements."