Tesco 'has worst supermarket hygiene record'

Emma Woollacott
Tesco price warning over beer ad
Tesco price warning over beer ad

Tesco has been revealed as the supermarket with the worst hygiene record, with 29 of its stores failing inspections between 2012 and 2013.

Asda, Sainsbury's, Morrisons and Aldi also had stores that fell foul of the inspectors, with Waitrose and Lidl the only members of the big seven to pass with flying colours: all their stores were deemed to meet expected standards.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) gives stores a rating of between zero and five, with two or less constituting a "fail". The inspectors look at criteria such as how food is prepared, cooked and stored, the general condition of the premises and what procedures are in place to ensure food safety.

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And while - thankfully - no UK supermarket received a zero rating, meaning that urgent improvement is needed, five of Tesco's 1,789 stores received a "one" rating - meaning that major improvement is necessary - and 24 more a "two".

Four of Sainsbury's 994 stores received a "two" rating and therefore failed the inspection, along with two of Morrisons 516 stores and one of Aldi's 382 stores.

"We take food safety and store hygiene extremely seriously and ensure all our shops are checked thoroughly on a daily basis," a Tesco spokesperson told the Sun. "While any reported low score is clearly disappointing , these stores represent just one per cent of our shop estate in the UK."

Asda and Morrisons both say that they've made improvements and are waiting for a reinspection.

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Tesco fined over massive mouse in London store

While supermarkets have suffered a series of woes over food safety in the last couple of years, this has tended to relate to the quality of food coming into their stores, rather than what happens once it gets there. Most recently, an investigation by the Guardian revealed that two-thirds of fresh retail chicken in the UK is contaminated with camphylobacter, which causes food poisoning. Around 280,000 people in the UK are currently made ill each year by the bug, and 100 people are believed to die.

But filthy conditions within supermarkets are by no means unknown. Last September, Tesco was fined £45,000 over the state of its Covent Garden branch, where an enormous mouse was caught nibblong on chicken wings and sausages. Westminster City Council reported finding droppings, nests and a dead mouse.

And earlier this year, Tesco was again forced to apologise after a shopper found mould and old food stuck to the shelves of a branch in Slough.

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