Asda has responded to allegations made by BBC programme Watchdog, including a claim that some dirty crates had been used for the supermarket’s delivery service.
The company said that it has taken direct action to address the allegations, including: deep cleaning all of its shopping vans, improving spillage skits so drivers can clean small spills quickly and easily, and re-briefing its store colleagues about food safety rules for home shopping. Asda will also be introducing deep cleaning for delivery crates in all stores, which the retailer trialed in the summer.
An Asda spokesperson said: “Our customers expect and deserve the highest standard of service. We haven’t lived up to this but our customers can trust us to take complaints seriously and do the right thing to resolve them.
“Although some of our policies and procedures have not been followed in these six stores, we have taken immediate action to permanently improve standards across all our home shopping services.”
The retailer has also given a detailed response to specific allegations raised by the Watchdog investigation:
• We have clear rules to make sure that all store departments are clean and hygienic.
• All our colleagues are trained on when and how to use the cleaning equipment, disinfectants and anti-bacterial sprays we provide when they join Asda and are then re-trained annually. All training records are independently audited.
• In home shopping, colleagues who pick products are expected to follow this training by inspecting crates every time they are used and clean them as they go using anti-bacterial sprays, disinfectants and cloths that are provided in all stores.
• Our home shopping vans are cleaned regularly.
• We do not use hoses to clean either our vans or delivery crates. We respect our colleagues’ personal opinions but it is untrue to suggest that hoses should be used to clean delivery crates, in fact this would breach Environmental Health rules.
• We provide specialist equipment to help drivers to follow our rule that no delivery crates should be placed on the floor in stores or during deliveries.
Bagging produce and meat
• We have clear rules that uncooked meat and loose produce should be bagged separately to avoid cross contamination.
• Whilst these rules have not been followed in these cases, it is untrue to suggest these rules do not exist.