But we have training and audits: Dirty crates and vans used to deliver food by Asda

Assif Majid of BBC News writes that Watchdog’s reporter was given no training on keeping delivery crates and vans clean.

The reporter witnessed spillages, but was told by senior drivers that there was no need to clear it up during the delivery round.

Asda says it has a “clean as you go” policy and staff get full training.

Both Asda employees and customers have contacted the consumer programme with allegations about the cleanliness of the store’s delivery crates.

One driver told the programme: “There’s no cleaning process in place. The crates are used over and over again, even after spillages. Most, if not all, are dirty, from food, and things like smashed eggs.”

Another driver told the programme they are so concerned about poor hygiene, they are worried about their own family eating food from the crates.

Asda said the findings were “isolated examples and the opinion of individual colleagues”.

It added: “The findings do not reflect the extensive policies and training they have in place, which are supported by independent third party audits.”

The supermarket also says Watchdog’s researcher did not receive the full role-specific training because he didn’t do enough shifts.

Chartered environmental health practitioner Barrie Trevena said: “Even if the food you’re putting in is wrapped, the packages then become contaminated and then when the customer handles the cans and the packages, then that’s going to contaminate their worktop and fridge.”

The company said it delivered almost half a million orders each week, using their totes more than 2.5 million times, and it was inaccurate and misleading to suggest that it did not have policies or training in place at a business level.


‘Furry lump’ Woman discovers baby weasel in UK salad

A nurse was horrified when she tucked into her Asda salad and discovered a baby weasel.

weasel.jan.16Rifat Asghar, 42, was eating a carrot and sweetcorn meal from the supermarket for lunch when a colleague spotted a “furry lump”.

The advanced nurse practitioner inspected the two inch-long furball and was disgusted to discover a leg and tail – as well as what looked like an eye.

She took the salad back to the shop in Bradford, West Yorkshire, where she claims she was offered a £5 voucher. An investigation later revealed the “foreign object” was a baby weasel and staff offered Ms Asghar £100 in vouchers, which she turned down.

Supermarket bosses claim the furry animal must have been picked up in a field during harvesting and passed through the entire factory without being spotted.

‘But, but mom, I don’t like beets’: Asda in UK recalls beetroot in botulism warning

It was one of our go-to phrases growing up, and I have no idea why.

pickle.dishProbably because beets were a staple of the 1970s funky glassware along with pickles and pickled onions.

Customers of UK supermarket giant Asda have been warned not to eat jars of pickled beetroot amid fears they could contain botulism.

The recall affects a batch of 710g jars of ‘Asda Chosen By You Pickled Crinkle Cut Beetroot’.

Customers who have bought any of the jars have been warned not to eat it but to return it to a store.

It is not clear how the bacteria may have got into the jars, but a statement from the Food Standards Agency indicated measures to control the botulism toxin had not been demonstrated.

Health concerns raised after three sparrows refuse to leave UK supermarket

Customers at an Asda supermarket have complained of finding animal excrement and bird feathers near fresh food after three sparrows set up home in the store – and then refused to leave.

asda.sparrow.jan.15The birds, which are a protected species, have been spotted flying around the supermarket in Crawley since December, but all efforts to remove them have so far proved unsuccessful.

Speaking to Crawley News, customer Ellen Bonner, 19, voiced her concern that the feathered fiends could be contaminating food.

She said: ‘I have seen them at least three times in the last month.

‘Because I’m a chef I know about food hygiene and seeing them fly over the food counters and open food, I am concerned about cross contamination.

‘I have seen feathers fall down on the food and I have seen the birds casually walk around on the shop floor.

‘Food can be contaminated with any diseases that the birds have that can then make the customer seriously ill.’

What Bangladesh sweatshops can teach U.S. food producers

ASDA, Britain’s second largest supermarket chain, recently installed webcams in two apparel factories in Bangladesh to give its customers a direct, uncensored viewed into working conditions on the factory floor.

Cargill is doing the same thing to provide transparency to its animal slaughter business and improve food safety. It’s about time.

When the Los Angeles Times reported last week how a couple of large food producers were held hostage by a kid with a video camera — the Humane Society of the United States released undercover video footage shot at two of the nation’s largest egg farms showing workers slamming chickens into metal bins and dead birds littering cages – I once again thought, why wouldn’t food producers take matters into their own hands?

The egg-farm footage released Wednesday was shot surreptitiously over the last two months inside Iowa facilities owned by Rose Acre Farms and Rembrandt Enterprises. It was taken by a Humane Society volunteer, who had landed work at four Iowa hen operations.

Among other things, the video footage showed chickens crammed into cages so crowded that the animals couldn’t move and their talons couldn’t touch the floor; chickens held in battery cages above manure pits that allegedly hadn’t been regularly cleaned; and a worker stuffing birds into a euthanizing chamber with such force that the thunk of the animals’ heads hitting the metal exterior could be heard.

Tony Wesner, executive vice president of Rose Acre Farms in Seymour, Ind., said Wednesday morning that the company "doesn’t condone inhumane treatment" of its livestock. "Anyone violating our standards would be immediately terminated," Wesner said.

Then bring out your own video evidence to back up what you say. Words aren’t enough. Prove it. And if a sweatshop in Bangladesh can provide the evidence, can’t a U.S. slaughterhouse?