Anger after supermarket bins six cages of ‘perfectly fine’ food
A member of staff at a Tesco store has said they “could not believe their eyes” as cages of food were binned, despite being within their sell by date.
The employee at Exeter Vale Extra superstore, who wishes to remain anonymous, told devonlive.com that Christmas stock management and waste targets were to at fault – and claimed that no effort was made to contact local charities who could have taken the food.
The metal cages bulging with goods were spotted by a passing worker on Christmas Eve.
Some of the stock, which included potatoes and carrots, was dated December 30 – meaning they would have been fresh for another week.
Tesco said the potatoes were ‘unfit for sale’, but did not comment on the carrots.
A spokesman for Tesco said: “All food in our stores that is fit for consumption is either sold or offered to charities and community groups through our Community Food Connection scheme, with our Exeter Vale Extra store so far providing more than 9,000 meals through the scheme to help people in need.
“Shortly before Christmas the Exeter Vale store received a delivery of potatoes that store colleagues found were unfit to sell or offer to local groups.
“The products were put aside until they could be sent back to our distribution centre.”
However, the employee claims they appeared “perfectly fine to pass on for sale”.
The worker claimed that they were thrown away because they had been reduced in price, so the loss was lower than if they had been put back up to full price later.
They added: “It was really getting to me all over Christmas. While I tucked into my dinner, all I could think of is how that food could have helped people who cook meals for the homeless.
“Why couldn’t they just reduce it to 10p or less over the next few days, so it had chance to sell?”
The incident comes after Tesco chief exec Dave Lewis told the Daily Telegraph that no food fit for human consumption will be wasted by their UK stores by the end of February.
He said edible food should be used for people, and not be disposed of.
Tesco, alongside all major UK supermarkets including Sainsbury’s and Morrisons, has signed a commitment to cut food waste by one-fifth within a decade.
It is known as the Courtauld Commitment 2025.