Waitrose – still rather pathetic!

It seems that Waitrose is moving very, very slowly to change its misleading health warning on the game meat that it has been selling for weeks and weeks in its stores.

I say ‘it seems’ because I received this response on Wednesday …

Dear Dr Avery

Thanks for your patience while I looked into this further for you. 

I can confirm that we’re currently in the process of updating our packaging. 

Kind regards
T***** B****
Waitrose & Partners 

email received 16 January 2019 at 17:02

… to which I replied …

To say what??

email sent at 20:02 on 16 January 2019

…and to which I received this reply while I was in the Royal Courts of Justice yesterday …

Dear Dr Avery

I’ve not been advised as to what it’s going to say yet but I imagine the recommendation for 1 a week will be removed because it doesn’t state this on FSA website – from memory, I think it says “best to avoid”

Kind regards

emasil received at 11:58 on 17 January 2019

That’s hardly a clear clarification but it does indicate that something is happening at long last.

Let me take you back to my first blog about Waitrose game meat in November. You’ll see that I went out of my way to praise Waitrose for having a health warning before, a while later, pointing out to Waitrose and readers of this blog that the health warning was inaccurate.

As with political scandals (this isn’t a scandal but Waitrose doesn’t come out of it well) it often isn’t the original misdemeanour that causes the trouble, it’s the way it is handled. In this case a large company, which prides itself on its sustainability credentials, has taken over seven weeks to admit its mistake and correct it – that’s pathetic! And we still don’t know from when and how they are attempting to correct it. The suspicion has to be that Waitrose continued to sell food in its stores for weeks and weeks, knowing that it had a misleading health warning, because it was too much trouble to change the packaging quickly. If so, that is putting their own commercial; interests ahead of being honest with their customers, and indeed ahead of their customers’ health. That would be shocking if that is what has happened.

I’ve been contacted, yesterday, by a Waitrose employee who would like to chat to me about all this. I’ll take him up on his offer, and depending on the type of conversation we have, I’ll let you know what I can.

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4 Replies to “Waitrose – still rather pathetic!”

  1. Wow. I am amazed at how relaxed this reply is.
    Do they nor realise hoe serious this is or it some kind on new PR tactic to act 1. stupid 2. innocent 3. nice.
    It looks like it has been written as a joke by a hacker.

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  2. The Food Standards Agency’s web site giving advice on lead leaves a lot to be desired. They do not state that pregnant women and children should not eat lead shot game but instead should cut down or minimise the amount of consumption. No quantities are given which is far from scientific. If someone is eating a very large amount of game meat each week and they cut down the amount eaten by a half, then they are likely still ingesting a comparatively large amount of lead shot compared to others.
    Have Waitrose carried out a risk assessment before selling foods with toxic ingredients ?

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  3. When I was in Waitrose recently I saw they stocked shot whole birds with a couple of rashers of bacon wrapped over them. There's no warning about the deadly nitrate in the bacon, nor about risk of there being lipstick on the pig. Lipstick often contains lead. Apparently the main neurotoxic symptom of lipstick users is that they buy more lipstick. Waitrose also sell lipstick.

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  4. That's the wrong answer.

    The right answer is to source lead free pheasants. But what this whole business has revealed is that there is no one in charge of Waitrose's environmental/ ethical reputation - had there been they'd have been onto this like a shot (sorry !) and sorted it.

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