Tesco “protein fuelled supermouse”

Do you know if your food is safe to eat?

Rats and mice are a major hazard in the process of food travelling from source to your mouth.

Rats and mice are a major hazard in the process of food travelling from source to your mouth.

Remaining on the theme of buying local and fresh is a horror story that caught my attention today of a protein fuelled supermouse.  The London Evening Standard reports with graphic pictures that Westminster magistrates court  prosecuted Tesco, a UK leading food chain, for repeatedly violating food hygiene standards that allowed mice access to raw food that they nibbled and defecated over.  The case was so serious that magistrates transferred the sentencing to the crown court to determine a heavy fine against Tesco.

One of my first jobs on leaving school was to work for Tesco.  The Tesco store I worked for put profit before customer safety in the days before eggs were date stamped, by asking me to transfer out-of-date eggs from their cartons into “pick your own” eggs where the customer would be unable to tell if eggs were fresh or not. This sort of experience made me wary of the food industry, which often will if it can put profit ahead of customer health.

When you are dependent upon others for providing your food needs you are never sure if anything happened that would compromise your health during the chain of action from source to your mouth.  You can significantly increase the chances you are eating good healthy food by cutting out some of the chain of action by buying local and fresh.  When I pick cherries off a wild tree I know exactly where it came from, there is only one action of cherry tree to my mouth involved; but with Tesco there are dozens of actions in the chain from getting food from its source to your mouth, which is where your health could be compromised.

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24 responses to “Tesco “protein fuelled supermouse”

  1. The power of the ‘live locally’ argument is increasing rapidly.

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  3. Tonight was the first time I cooked a meal in a couple of weeks, it was simply too hot. I savored every bite as all but one ingredient came directly from my garden to my plate, the other came from a local farmer. It was not only safe to eat but delicious.

    The story from Tesco brings into question the safety of unprocessed foods as well. The increasing frequency of raw foods; nuts, seeds, vegetables and supposedly organic foods like hummus bring more unease for me in buying anything I can’t see how it was grown or handled.

    • It has been boiling hot these last two weeks and my enthusiasm to cook anything has vanished.

      Stores such as Tesco have been caught out in recent months by a meat scandal where their checking systems failed to reveal how their suppliers were contaminating own-brand beef or pork meat pies with horse meat.

      One problem is storage of raw food, how the raw foods have been processed for storage. The revelation is that when you purchase the raw food, it won’t last long, showing it has been stored for a long time.

  4. Gross.Every time I traveled abroad ,I have been impressed by the bright lights,refrigeration and plastic packaging of food stuff on super-market shelves.The behind the scenes reality is revolting.

    • It is all glamour. The reality behind the scenes is less than appealing.

      • Yes.I am just reading about the 50 year old chicken legs on your blog.Horrific.
        Did you hear about the number of school children dying all over India because of food poisoning from the govt’s mid-day meal scheme?

      • I was concerned when you said “all over India.” Reports I am reading is that one school is impacted in an appalling incident where the head teacher allowed food to be cooked in pesticide, forced the children to eat the food, then fled in panic leaving the children to die. The failures of the Indian government food scheme probably contributed to the deaths of over 20 children in the school.

      • I was unaware of this incident, thanks for letting me know. India has a serious problem with its food supply and preparation system to school children.

      • It gets worse.Our govt godowns have so much spoiled food that they are trying to push to poor people free.The quality is unfit even for animal consumption.There are pictures in the press everyday of such food being pitched by the recipients into the trash.
        All this at a time when food costs are keeping people hungry and the nation has a huge bill it can ill afford from procuring and storing the food,only to let it spoil.

      • It seems to me India is a nation of contrasts, a paradox of an advanced nation against a nation of extreme poverty. This is a nation where a top-down approach fails to work, since the bottom often does not have the infrastructure or ability to cope with the demands from the top.

  5. Growing most of my own food, is a bonus Alex.. I shuddered at those images on your link.. but I am not surprised as Mega Super-Stores put profit before much else these days… My Hubby in our first 9 years of marriage worked for a Bread Bakery for well known brand names.. And I never ate their bread again!!!…. It seems what the public do not see.. etc.. Profit again was the fault.. I will not spoil your Supper by saying what crawled into the mix on a regular basis ..

    ~Sue

    • You offered a good argument for making my own bread!

      • Brown bread was the worst although Hovis wasnt allowed to be tampered with!.. a tip there, but this half and half bread and cheap loaves often also have stale bread which is returned to factories soaked and put back in fresh dough… I make lots of my own bread in bread making machine as dough and then split up to make a couple of small loaves.. or cobs.. If I am rushed it bakes a decent loaf too… But I usually set on dough mix only and follow through to prove and bake … 🙂

      • The last time I made bread it smelt and tasted good, but I managed to burn the carpet. The incentive to make my own bread has been low due to me getting my hands on discounted bread all the time. The recycling of stale bread by the bread making industry cannot be good for health, that is bad action.

      • Well I know it was that particular bakeries practice but that was in my early years of marriage back in the late 70’s early 80s when bread strikes and every other strike was on the go! remember those days??? In the mid 80’s it closed down.. Much to my delight as Hubby was rake thin working 12 hr shifts 6 days a week days one wk nights the next for 7 yrs…

      • That was a tough schedule to follow. I am glad the bakery closed if it was doing unethical things.

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