Hospitality operators have been urged to ensure the meat they buy is independently audited along the supply chain after it emerged that a major supplier was transporting meat in rancid conditions.
The BBC today revealed that McLaren Foods, which supplied elite hotels including the Dorchester and Claridge's as well as government offices in London, had been contravening health, safety and hygiene laws.
Former employee Alan Castell said often rotten meat would be transported in vans which were not disinfected after.
McLaren, which had satellite depots around the country up until March this year, also supplied top schools and hospitals
However, no action can be taken as the incidents date back two years ago and the business has gone into administration.
Tony Goodyear, foodservice trade manager for the Meat and Livestock Commission, said the story should serve as a warning to chefs and caterers.
"Buying the cheapest meat sometimes means that corners are cut in terms of hygiene," he said. "The best option for chefs and caterers is to buy assured meat that has been independently audited along the supply chain.
"As customers they have a perfect right to make their own spot checks on their suppliers. Good catering butchers have nothing to hide but cheap meat can lead to problems such as this," he added.
By Daniel Thomas
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