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Supermarket hygiene questioned

23rd May 2007

The BBC programme 'Whistleblower' has found that food sanitation regulations were not followed at two large UK supermarket outlets.

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An undercover investigation revealed that customers were misinformed about the freshness of produce sold on the meat and fish counters at Sainsbury and Tesco supermarkets.

BBC reporter Audrey Brown submitted an application to work at a Sainsbury's store in Didcot, Oxfordshire, after being informed of the hygiene situation by a previous member of staff.

The programme showed Ms Brown serving food on the meat counter. She observed that produce was put out for sale on the day following its use-by date and customers were not informed.

She was advised to slice off the upper portion of some cuts of meat in order to cause them to appear fresh. The programme also found that deliveries were often not unloaded fast enough for their contents to be properly chilled.

The programme makes the claim that at Tesco food was "re-labelled" and put up for sale at a reduced cost. Another undercover reporter was ordered to take steaks past their use-by date and "mince them for sale."

Sainsbury's provided the following statement: "We have identified some instances where our procedures had not been followed correctly at that store and have taken the necessary action to ensure these matters are addressed."

Tesco said: "We take allegations of this nature very seriously and, as a precaution, have retrained all counter staff in this store."

 


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