Did you see Whistleblower last night?

  MichelleC 11:36 23 May 07
Locked

I'm not usually enamoured by the press sometimes, but when it comes to proper investigative journalism I am always impressed.

Two undercover BBC journalists worked at Tescos and Sainsburys with hidden cameras. They caught supervisors and managers at both stores using illegal and unhealthly practises relating to food. It wasn't only sell-by-dates which were being flouted it was 'use-by-dates', too. There was cross-contamination between cooked and raw meats; non-handwashing by staff after using the toilets; filthy staff toilet facilities; staff not changing boots after using the toilets and contaminating flooring in food prep areas.

Apparently top management at both stores condoned these practices by pressurising staff to meet targets of not wasting food. So food not fit for human consumption (including shellfish) was repackaged for sale to the public.

It was an eyeopener.

Every little helps.

  donki 12:10 23 May 07

Having worked at both these stores (on the meat counter) I seen nothing new in the program, the one most coman this that goes on is the 15minute rule being totally disgregarded. This is when the fridges are being restocked and the staff have 15 minutes to get the tolly unloaded into the display fridges, or it has to go back int the storage fridge. This never really happens, food could be sitting for up 2 an hour before it refrdgerated again. Also to do with sell by dates the staff are often encouraged to keep waste to a minimum.

There are many other stories I could tell you but I won't, thats y i never buy my meat from a supermarket, go to a much higher quality family butcher which is cheaper.

  wee eddie 12:14 23 May 07

But:

I can say that the methods of implementation of some of the regulations such as "Use by", "Best before", and "Sell by" are ludicrous. That also goes for "some" of the Hygiene Regulations.

There are some that are very sensible and others that verge on paranoia.

The whole system needs a dose of reality.

  Why wont it work 12:17 23 May 07

I thought it was horrible! Put's me off buying from supermarkets I don't know. However, having worked for my local Tescos I know they do nothing of the sort. They maintain very high standards, partly because the managers are very good and have a tight control over what happens. It could also be because they are having to compete with Sainsbury's and Waitrose only a 5-10 min walk away..

Anyway, I don't think I'll be having the occasional bouts of laziness anymore and buy a ready meal!!

  spuds 12:21 23 May 07

But did you read the media reports and responses from the supermarkets concerned in yesterdays papers?.

Last year, I had reason to complain to a well known supermarket about a tin of 'own brand' grapefruit that I had recently purchased. On opening the tin, the tin was black and appeared rusty inside. The reply that I received was that the special varnish on the tin had not been applied correctly. Here's a £2.00 voucher, now go away, seemed to be the response!.

  GANDALF <|:-)> 12:21 23 May 07

Two of my friends work as managers in large chain supermarkets and from their stories of head office hammering managers who do not meet targets (including the scrapping of naff food)I would say that the programme paints a fairly accurate picture of the companies' greed and aim for profit at the expense of the customer.

I have not bought meat from a supermarket for 4 years now and the programme confirmed my choice. I like my chicken to taste of chicken and not be forced to grow so quickly (egg to maturity in 6 months instead of 18 months) that the things cannot walk. Anyone who buys supermarket meat really needs to examine their lives IMHO.

G

  GANDALF <|:-)> 12:24 23 May 07

ps....rather strangely the meat from our local butcher costs about the same as the supermarkets' attempts and a 16 ounce steak weighs 14 ounces when cooked....the same from a supermarket weighs 10 ounces or less. Odd that isn't it?

G

  Kate B 12:24 23 May 07

Yup, cracking piece of investigative journalism. A subject that's in the public interest and carried out professionally. Big difference between that and Panorama t'other night.

  Kate B 12:26 23 May 07

Gandalf - that's water. Look at any piece of meat from a supermarket as it cooks and it's quite amazing how much water comes off it.

  Totally-braindead 12:43 23 May 07

I'm with Gandalf on the meat thing, the supermarket stuff is bland and pretty tasteless, if you disagree I suggest you go to your local butchers and get the same item you buy in the supermarket and cook them both. Theres no comparison the stuff from the butchers is much much better.
I wouldn't buy fresh meat from a supermarket you'd be as well eating cardboard (slight exageration).

  MichelleC 13:13 23 May 07

What amazes me is the regulatory bods let them get away with it at supermarkets. Why just supermarkets?

At residential homes there are strict guidelines, so strict you have to have an icebox when you shop so the frozen stuff and meat goes in there for transit. Transit can take ten mins at most.

Eateries are closed down if hygiene rules are flouted.

But not supermarkets, where record profits are made.

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