Food hygene in supermarket

  WhiteTruckMan 09:59 23 Feb 2010

Last night I called in asda on my way home. I make a point of looking at the reduced items, so went to browse the chiller cabinet which had just been filled up. Top shelf was assorted raw meats, joints, mince meat etc. Next shelf down was full of uncooked chickens. All the other shelves (underneath) were full of cooked meats, pies, pizzas, cream cakes, cheeses etc.

I always thought you werent supposed to stack food this way in your fridge at home on the grounds that fluids could drip down and contaminate other food. So I raised the matter with customer services, who contacted a manager to come and speak with me. She assured me that it was perfectly ok as long as the items were segregated (by shelves). I asked if they would store food that way at home, and they said yes! Perhaps I should have argued the case, but I admit it had been a long day and I was V tired indeed, so I merely went back to the cabinet and took some pictures, then went home, wondering if the staff had even heard of salmonella, let alone be able to spell it.

But were they right? Or were they just feeding me a line of bull to shut me up and quietly get rid of them?


  MAJ 10:13 23 Feb 2010

They were talking rubbish, WTM, cooked and raw meats should be seperated, even if they are packaged.

  sunnystaines 10:16 23 Feb 2010

I think hygene varies between stores. Tesco is poor saw a cleaner sweeping the floor then pick up a filthy may and lay it across the fresh fruit i mentioned it to a suited supervisor he was not interested, the cleaner eventually put the mat down after cleaning [ make sure you wash fruit from tesco] also i noticed that in tesco they are slow to remove rotten fruit from displays.

where as waitrose seem very on the ball, i saw an old biddy sniffing rolls then putting them back mentioned to staff, who remove the whole display of rolls [turned out the old biddy had poor eyesight and sniffed the rolls to check if they were fresh] she was offered assistance for future shopping.

  WhiteTruckMan 10:36 23 Feb 2010

is what I'm talking about

click here

click here

click here

Its potentially pretty serious, so I thought that some evidence would be a good thing to have. Also, one of the last things I said to the 'manager' was would they have a problem with me taking a picture, if the food storage was ok? they said no problem, so I had permission to take them.


  Brumas 11:01 23 Feb 2010

I would contact the Environmental Health a.s.a.p.
That set-up is a 'time bomb' just waiting to explode!

  Quickbeam 11:18 23 Feb 2010

You do realise you've condemned them to a tedious H&S assessment involving successive layers of management to throw their tuppence worth in;)

It does however make sense for the uncooked items to be at the bottom. But bear in mind it's a short product life display, so it doesn't make sense to have two half full cabinets in an environment where every square foot of sales space is costed with paranoid detail to profit per square foot.

Fresh items in there are likely to be binned at the end of the day as out of date, so there is minimum time for cross contamination to occur compared to fresh items with a couple of days to be cross contaminated by adjacent products.

  walesrob 11:18 23 Feb 2010

I work in food retailing, WTM is right - all reduced chilled products must always be displayed in their respective cabinets, never cooked/uncooked mixture. I'm fairly sure its standard practice anyway, I'd be surprised if other retailers deviate from this.

I started working in food retailing in 1987, and I can say for sure standards have fallen - the emphasis now is much more on stack it high, sell it cheap and sell it fast. Back in 1987, I used to spend hours just stacking apple displays and carefully making sure there we're no rotten tomatoes or potatoes on display. Sure we have much more choice now, but it still shocks me when I see crisps that are 6 months out of date on the shelf at a local supermarket, as happened to me last year.

  Quickbeam 11:22 23 Feb 2010

... to complete the heading...

  OTT_B 11:39 23 Feb 2010

The mixed cooked / uncooked meats look a bit like the Primark Sales scenario, whereby bargain hunters seem unable to return products from where they got them after having a look, but deciding not to buy.

I can understand the store manager's arguement for separation of meats. Providing there is a physical barrier (and especially where the raw meat is sealed) I can't see an issue. Probably goes against home advice, but the storage and potentially packaging may be different.

  oresome 12:03 23 Feb 2010

In Sainsburys the other day and having purchased an uncooked chicken, the checkout lady noted we were using reuseable bags, but said to prevent the chicken contaminating the bag she would wrap it in one of their carriers anyway.

There never seems to be the same care taken at Asda or Tesco in my experience.

On another hobby horse of mine, we have had five bills in succession wrong at supermarkets in the last three weeks, totalling over £15 overcharge.

  Quickbeam 12:18 23 Feb 2010

However many shelves are used, you'll never stop the shopper from putting an uncooked chicken on top of their cream cakes in the trolley.

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