Four sacked after Macsween’s haggis factory blunder

RENOWNED: Haggis firm Macsween was established in the 1950s as a butchers shop in the south of Edinburgh
RENOWNED: Haggis firm Macsween was established in the 1950s as a butchers shop in the south of Edinburgh
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FOUR workers employed by a world famous haggis firm have been sacked just days before Burns Night following a blunder on the factory floor.

Disciplinary action was taken against the employees after a production error at Macsween’s factory in Loanhead led operations to be temporarily suspended.

Bosses at the firm said a potential production error - involved the wrong type of meat being taken out from a store room and on to the factory floor - was picked up during stringent checks before any products could be affected.

But Mick Malone, who joined the company just days previously and was among those who lost his job, said he felt the workers had been treated unfairly over the incident.

Mr Malone, 49, explained he joined the firm on a temporary contract running until February 8 but that his hopes this might be extended had now been dashed in light of the company action against him.

He said: “This is my newest job after three weeks of job hunting – I need to find work sharp. It’s not good not having a job when you want to work.

“It just felt a bit unfair for everybody else – they didn’t deserve to lose their job.

“There could have been some reprimand or call to be more vigilant doing their job.”

Mr Malone, who previously worked as a fishmonger for more than 30 years, said he felt the situation could have been handled differently.

He added: “I’d see the point if it went on sale – that would be acceptable.

“But for something that nearly happened but didn’t I just thought it was a bit harsh.”

Macsween is a third generation family company, initially established as a butchers shop in Bruntsfield in the 1950s.

It counts luxury food retailer Marks and Spencer among its customers after launching a new range of products for the chain in 2012.

In December last year Macsween announced the arrival of its first shipment of haggis to Canada in 49 years and Singapore in 21, a move hailed by the company as a “huge milestone”.

The factory incident comes just days before Scots and foodie fans all over the world prepare to tuck into national dish to mark Burns Night on January 25 this Thursday.

The night serves as a celebration of the life and literary contributions of Robert Burns and is thought to date back to a few years after the poet’s death in 1796.

Macsween confirmed a disciplinary investigation had been launched but were at pains to stress no-one of their standards had been compromised.

A spokesman for the company said: “Macsween of Edinburgh treats allegations regarding the quality of all its products with the utmost seriousness.

“There was a production error this week that was picked up by our stringent internal quality control processes. The error was identified immediately at the first control point in the manufacturing process and operations were suspended.

“An audit confirmed that none of our products have been affected and production is now back up and running. A disciplinary investigation has been launched and it would be inappropriate to comment further.”

florence.snead@jpress.co.uk