Steak back on the menu for JDW

By Nikkie Sutton

- Last updated on GMT

Off the table: JD Wetherspoon removed three types of steak from its menus after issues with its supplier Russell Hume
Off the table: JD Wetherspoon removed three types of steak from its menus after issues with its supplier Russell Hume

Related tags Russell hume Food standards agency Meat

JD Wetherspoon (JDW) is putting steak back on its menus across its 900-strong estate after it was removed following "issues" at a suppliers.

Sirloin, rump and gammon steak will return to the pubs on Tuesday 30 January but JDW has cancelled its contract with former meat supplier Russell Hume and is sourcing its steaks from a new supplier.

JDW chairman Tim Martin apologised to the pub chain's customers and defended the company's decision to stop using Russell Hume meat.

He said: "Firstly we wish to apologise to our customers for the inconvenience caused to them.

"However, our decision to stop serving steak from Tuesday 23 January, despite limited information from the supplier, was the correct one.

"Steak is one of the most popular dishes on our menu and we serve about 200,000 per week on average, about half of these on our extremely popular Tuesday Night Steak Club.

"We have now sourced alternative suppliers and our pub staff are once again looking forward to serving the steak dishes from Tuesday 30 January onwards."

Martin then went on to comment on the Food Standards Agency (FSA) statement about Russell Hume.

He added: "On Wednesday 24 January the FSA reported that they were thoroughly investigating Russell Hume but also stressed there was no indication that people had become ill from eating meat supplied by them. We will continue to monitor the situation."

The pub chain also confirmed that its sites are displaying information on the situation for customers to read and the company has added a question-and-answer document on its website.

Two of the country’s biggest pubcos, Greene King and Marston’s, have also confirmed they purchase some of their meat from Russell Hume.

The meat supplier issued a statement that said the products had been recalled as a precautionary measure because of mislabelling. It added that it had no reason to believe the product was unsafe to eat.

The FSA conducted an unannounced inspection of the supplier’s Birmingham site on 12 January where it became concerned that the company was allegedly breaching hygiene regulations.

Food-hygiene rules

Following this, the Government body and Food Standards Scotland is set to investigate all Russell Hume sites and other locations where its products are stored in England, Scotland and Wales.

The supplier was unable to demonstrate compliance with food hygiene rules at its locations so the FSA has stopped any products from leaving its sites until the business can provide assurances that it is complying with relevant legislation, and that it is producing safe food, according to the FSA.

The agency has also instructed that there is no indication that people have become ill from eating meat supplied by Russell Hume.

However, it is concerned about poor practices in place at the supplier’s premises and, as a result, the body has taken proportionate action to ensure no meat can leave Russell Hume sites at present.

Contingency plans

The FSA is continuing to assess the situation and its investigations are ongoing.

A spokesperson for Greene King said: “We only take a handful of products from Russell Hume and have contingency plans in place, which means we can continue to serve our customers as normal.” 

Fellow pub group Marston's also confirmed it used Russell Hume and echoed Greene King's comments about contingency plans.

A Marston’s spokesperson said: "As you would expect we have contingency plans in place for situations such as this and a business such as ours has multiple suppliers, however, we are liaising closely with the FSA and Russell Hume."

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