August 15, 2022

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A Morrisons store was deemed to need major improvement after a critical food hygiene inspection...
Caption: (Picture: Google/Morrisons)
A Morrisons store was deemed to need major improvement after a critical food hygiene inspection (Picture: Google/Food Standards Agency)

A Morrisons store was pulled up by a food hygiene inspector who found mouldy quiches and 200 out of date rashers of bacon.

The petrol station branch received a one-star ‘major improvement necessary’ rating after the visit in Coalville, Leicestershire.

A ‘large quantity’ of food past its use-by date was found in under-counter fridges in a kitchen by the inspector on March 7 this year.

The items included 80 partially-cooked rashers of bacon with the use-by date of February 2 and another 120 dated February 23.

A letter to the supermarket giant released under the Freedom of Information Act states: ‘It is an offence to sell food which is unfit for human consumption or expose for sale food with an expired use-by date.

‘All food on your premises is deemed to be for sale unless it is clearly marked and separated from other foods.’

The official, working for North West Leicestershire District Council, also found 80 partially-cooked sausages with the date of February 14.

Inside the store, two 170g quiche Lorraines were found ‘with visible mould growth’ and use-by dates of March 3, according to the redacted report.

The items were ‘discarded on top of a bucket to the right of the Grab and Go display on the shop floor’, the document states.

The Morrisons store was found to have meat products in storage that were past their use-by date (Picture: Google Maps)
The Morrisons store was found to have meat products in storage that were past their use-by date (Picture: Google Maps)

An inspection of a freezer found that further meat had been frozen without labels showing the date of freezing, defrosting or cook-by date.

The stock was recorded as 300 rashers of partially-cooked bacon, all of which had been frozen for longer than 30 days – the time limit by which food must be cooked by, according to a policy on display in the branch.

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The letter reads: ‘All the products found in the freezer had been frozen in excess of 30 days – some for up to five months.’

The inspector noted that a manager from the main store had checked with head office and been advised that it was permissible to freeze products for three months before use and the 2018 procedure might be out of date.

Staffing issues were also highlighted at the Daily store on the Whitwick Road, with one employee observed ‘with a long queue of customers’ and ‘struggling to cope with the significant demands’.

The report reads: ‘It was clear from discussions with staff that they were frustrated and felt that their requests for assistance were not being heard.’

The inspector, who was joined by managers from the main store, wrote: ‘Nobody was able to give a definitive answer as to whether food preparation, specifically of bacon and sausage sandwiches, was still ongoing or if it had stopped – and if it had stopped, when it had stopped.’

close up shot of bacon
Hundreds of packs of bacon were found to be without labels or past their use-by date at a Morrisons store (Picture: File image from Getty Images/iStockphoto)

The kitchen was also found to have no means of hand drying for a wash basin and a draining channel used in meat preparation had ‘a significant quantity of detritus, grease and mould’.

On a revisit to the branch four days later a member of staff was found to be covering both the in-store bakery and the raw meat preparation and cooking processes.

The employee was said to have been using the same red cloth to wipe off ‘raw meat residue and juices’ from a surface before rinsing the material in water and using it to remove disinfectant spray.

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The inspector found that this was ‘thereby re-contaminating the surface’ and recommended ‘ the need for re-training for the member of staff on the cleaning procedures’, according to the report, which was released by the council after a request by Metro.co.uk.

The branch was awarded one out of a maximum five stars for food hygiene, meaning ‘major improvement necessary’, according to a listing which was live on the Food Standards Agency’s website as of July 14.

Lee Mansfield, environmental health team manager at the council, told Metro.co.uk: ‘We are committed to supporting businesses across the district to thrive, and our environmental health team works hard to support the food businesses in our area to keep consumers safe and healthy.

‘We encourage food businesses to achieve the highest food rating possible, through inspections and support with training, advice and funding opportunities. The vast majority of food businesses within North West Leicestershire have a hygiene rating of three and above.

‘Where businesses fall short of food hygiene standards we work to ensure owners and staff understand how they can improve.’

A Morrisons spokesperson said: ‘The hygiene within our stores is really important to us. We’re working closely with the store to address and resolve all issues raised during the inspection.

‘We will also be in contact with the local authority to conduct a follow-up inspection in the near future.’

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