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M&S out of date meat displayed and sold

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124

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  • Threewheeler
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    Purchased a Pizza from M&S garage outlet, Price £5.00, ordered and got same from online £3.45.   Complained and was told cannot price match, but it was their own outlet, may be worth knowing and checking.

    :grouphug: Threewheeler
  • RogerBareford
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    Brie said:
    I'm on the OP's side with this.  it's not always easy to tell what the date is whether it's a best before or a use by.  My OH has too frequently brought home things that are on the cusp - because he doesn't have his glasses with him and can't see things properly.  I know he could ask someone but often there's no one available other than another customer which is a tad embarrassing.  


    I disagree and every item i have ever bought in this country in packaging has always cleared stated whether it's a best before date or use by date.

    Your example is just poor planning on your OH part and i think checking the date of everything is important otherwise how can you do a weekly shop and know whether or not each item will last until you need it over the week?

  • misimp
    misimp Posts: 51 Forumite
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    Mmmm.

    Tesco tried every argument in the book, including the 'it wont hurt you, it's still safe' one

    Cost them £7,560,000 - yep, £7.56 MILLION just for having it on the shelf.

    Makes my request for £9.75 refund hardly worth arguing about
  • Brie
    Brie Posts: 10,772 Forumite
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    Brie said:
    I'm on the OP's side with this.  it's not always easy to tell what the date is whether it's a best before or a use by.  My OH has too frequently brought home things that are on the cusp - because he doesn't have his glasses with him and can't see things properly.  I know he could ask someone but often there's no one available other than another customer which is a tad embarrassing.  


    I disagree and every item i have ever bought in this country in packaging has always cleared stated whether it's a best before date or use by date.

    Your example is just poor planning on your OH part and i think checking the date of everything is important otherwise how can you do a weekly shop and know whether or not each item will last until you need it over the week?

    @RogerBareford
    You misunderstood me.  I wasn't claiming that it's difficult to tell if it's a BBD or a UBD.  That is quite clear as long as you can find it and see it.  I suppose a comma before "whether" might have made it clearer for you.

    Yup - my OH is a twit for going about without reading glasses.  Not a problem I have as I wouldn't find the shop or even the car in front of our house without my glasses on. (well not quite but you catch my drift I hope)

    But even me with my glasses (& oddly I need to take them off to read the small print) have difficulty finding some dates.  I look at the label and find a bit that says "check BBD on lid" or similar.  And search the lid for the info completely unable to find it.  Sometimes it's simply not there, sometimes it's smeared so illegible and sometimes it's on the base of the jar instead of the lid as stated on the label.  I'm not surprised that some people aren't able to check or don't take the time.

    I'm an inveterate label reader due to not liking or knowing I might have a reaction to a number of ingredients.  It does really slow down one's shopping and irritates the OH to high levels of tuttering.  
    "Never retract, never explain, never apologise; get things done and let them howl.”
  • misimp
    misimp Posts: 51 Forumite
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    misimp said:
    Brie said:
    I'm on the OP's side with this.  it's not always easy to tell what the date is whether it's a best before or a use by.  My OH has too frequently brought home things that are on the cusp - because he doesn't have his glasses with him and can't see things properly.  I know he could ask someone but often there's no one available other than another customer which is a tad embarrassing.  


    I disagree and every item i have ever bought in this country in packaging has always cleared stated whether it's a best before date or use by date.

    Your example is just poor planning on your OH part and i think checking the date of everything is important otherwise how can you do a weekly shop and know whether or not each item will last until you need it over the week?

    You are overlooking the fact that it is illegal to even display food past it use by date

    There is a presumption  that shoppers can assume that goods offfered for sale are not illegal

    Certainly you could argue that if you want to keep the product for a few days before consumption, make sure that it has sufficient shelf life.......but it shouldn't be necessary to check that it is LEGAL surely?

    Perhaps one day you will get old and decrepit and forced to rely on rules and regulations to protect you from your own stupidity >:)

    Yes, i would say it's necessary to check because nobody is perfect and mistakes happen. Like i said before you made a mistake by not checking the date when you wanted it in three days times, so you should have checked for that reason alone. The shop staff checking thousands of products each day are also liable to make mistakes, so that's why it's always necessary to check.

    Just because something is a legal requirement doesn't mean that you shouldn't check for mistakes.

    If something can be checked visually in a few seconds that relates to my health or safety, then i will carry out that check every time because if a human is involved then errors can be made no matter what the law states.
    Valid observation.

    So, I accept that I made a stupid mistake by not going through the stock to select the best date and replacing all the older ones and taking the newest (thereby negating the stores attempts at stock rotation and increasing their wastage)

    However my mistake is not illegal.

    THEY made a mistake, which WAS illegal

    I realised my mistake and pointed out theirs, asking that I be refunded

    Their resolution was to insist that I return to the store with the product I had purchased that day. They accepted that it had been purchased from their shelves in their store. They accepted that the date was expired and that it should not have been there, but insisted that there was no way a refund could be made without returning the goods to the shop (presumably to be destroyed, since they would not, surely, have attempted to resell it

    However when I pointed out that they were breaking the law and that in view of their attitude I would contact the TS, they suddenly became profusely apologetic and the 'impossible' refund was suddenly no problem


    I would suggest that it was the mention of TS that changed their attitude and that to me is totally wrong. Either they accept that their system had badly failed or they don't, it should not need the prospect of outside intervention to persuade them to do the honourable thing

    Lets move on to TS. No, I would not expect them to take legal action - but they would (and do) log the complaint.
    If in some future spot check, or further complaint these records influence the action they take (ie warning, increased spot checks or prosecution (it is a CRIMINAL offence)

    Now if everyone shrugs and says 'everyone makes mistakes' then there will BE no record, however often these 'mistakes' happen

    Now lets' move on to the LAW. Yes, it is an !!!!!! - but ignorance of the law is no excuse, and as I said earlier this is a complete offence to which there is no defence, either the food was on display/sold or it wasn't
    Offenders can produce evidence of systems they have in place to prevent it - but that is not a defence, it is mitigaton

    Tesco have systems in place , no big company would dare not to have, but for whatever reason those systems failed to prevent ood food to be displayed and despite all the excuses, procedures and checks they were prosecuted and fined £7.56 million for having it on the shelf

    I may be naive but I would have expected M&S to be very grateful for me bringing it to their attention rather than running off to TS without contacting them. Note, there was no request for 'compensation'or mention of TS until they had TWICE refused the refund unless I returned to the store


    Then again, I seem to have a different viewpoint to most, in that I like to be fair to others and I expect them to be fair to me, and in this case I would have considered a simple and immediate fuss free refund of £9.75 a fair result.........and I would have thought that they would also consider it fair - and a lucky escape

    I wonder if I get a speeding or parking ticket I can get out of it by explaining that 'we all make mistakes', do you think it would work?
  • RogerBareford
    RogerBareford Posts: 511 Forumite
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    edited 23 December 2021 at 6:07PM
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    misimp said:
    misimp said:
    Brie said:
    I'm on the OP's side with this.  it's not always easy to tell what the date is whether it's a best before or a use by.  My OH has too frequently brought home things that are on the cusp - because he doesn't have his glasses with him and can't see things properly.  I know he could ask someone but often there's no one available other than another customer which is a tad embarrassing.  


    I disagree and every item i have ever bought in this country in packaging has always cleared stated whether it's a best before date or use by date.

    Your example is just poor planning on your OH part and i think checking the date of everything is important otherwise how can you do a weekly shop and know whether or not each item will last until you need it over the week?

    You are overlooking the fact that it is illegal to even display food past it use by date

    There is a presumption  that shoppers can assume that goods offfered for sale are not illegal

    Certainly you could argue that if you want to keep the product for a few days before consumption, make sure that it has sufficient shelf life.......but it shouldn't be necessary to check that it is LEGAL surely?

    Perhaps one day you will get old and decrepit and forced to rely on rules and regulations to protect you from your own stupidity >:)

    Yes, i would say it's necessary to check because nobody is perfect and mistakes happen. Like i said before you made a mistake by not checking the date when you wanted it in three days times, so you should have checked for that reason alone. The shop staff checking thousands of products each day are also liable to make mistakes, so that's why it's always necessary to check.

    Just because something is a legal requirement doesn't mean that you shouldn't check for mistakes.

    If something can be checked visually in a few seconds that relates to my health or safety, then i will carry out that check every time because if a human is involved then errors can be made no matter what the law states.
    Valid observation.

    So, I accept that I made a stupid mistake by not going through the stock to select the best date and replacing all the older ones and taking the newest (thereby negating the stores attempts at stock rotation and increasing their wastage)

    However my mistake is not illegal.

    THEY made a mistake, which WAS illegal

    Yes, their mistake was illegal and I acknowledge that.
    But personally, I feel you're making a bigger deal of it being illegal than I would because it's something that is very easy for the customer to spot and would only bother me if I saw this happen on several occasions and not a one off mistake.
    If they were scratching off the dates or modifying them to hide they were past their use by then I would join in with your outrage as this is intentional and may not be spotted.


    I realised my mistake and pointed out theirs, asking that I be refunded

    Their resolution was to insist that I return to the store with the product I had purchased that day. They accepted that it had been purchased from their shelves in their store. They accepted that the date was expired and that it should not have been there, but insisted that there was no way a refund could be made without returning the goods to the shop (presumably to be destroyed, since they would not, surely, have attempted to resell it

    However when I pointed out that they were breaking the law and that in view of their attitude I would contact the TS, they suddenly became profusely apologetic and the 'impossible' refund was suddenly no problem


    I would suggest that it was the mention of TS that changed their attitude and that to me is totally wrong. Either they accept that their system had badly failed or they don't, it should not need the prospect of outside intervention to persuade them to do the honourable thing

    Lets move on to TS. No, I would not expect them to take legal action - but they would (and do) log the complaint.
    If in some future spot check, or further complaint these records influence the action they take (ie warning, increased spot checks or prosecution (it is a CRIMINAL offence)

    Now if everyone shrugs and says 'everyone makes mistakes' then there will BE no record, however often these 'mistakes' happen

    Now lets' move on to the LAW. Yes, it is an !!!!!! - but ignorance of the law is no excuse, and as I said earlier this is a complete offence to which there is no defence, either the food was on display/sold or it wasn't
    Offenders can produce evidence of systems they have in place to prevent it - but that is not a defence, it is mitigaton

    Tesco have systems in place , no big company would dare not to have, but for whatever reason those systems failed to prevent ood food to be displayed and despite all the excuses, procedures and checks they were prosecuted and fined £7.56 million for having it on the shelf

    I may be naive but I would have expected M&S to be very grateful for me bringing it to their attention rather than running off to TS without contacting them. Note, there was no request for 'compensation'or mention of TS until they had TWICE refused the refund unless I returned to the store


    Then again, I seem to have a different viewpoint to most, in that I like to be fair to others and I expect them to be fair to me, and in this case I would have considered a simple and immediate fuss free refund of £9.75 a fair result.........and I would have thought that they would also consider it fair - and a lucky escape

    To me, the bigger issue is that they messed you about when you just wanted a refund and first told you to go to the store but then were suddenly able to do it remotely. That's just poor and annoying customer service.
    I take your point about everyone having to report things to build up a record. But I personally wouldn't report anything unless I saw it more than once, which indicated it was a repeat systematic failure instead of just human error.
    It sounds like now they have resolved it you won't be reporting it to TS, so I feel you are thinking on the same lines, or are you now going to report it?


    I wonder if I get a speeding or parking ticket I can get out of it by explaining that 'we all make mistakes', do you think it would work?


    I could give examples of that happening where a "parking ticket" was avoided by talking to the car park attendant and also another example where I was pulled over for speeding a good amount over the limit and the police letting me go with a warning after my explanation of the mistake that lead to that. I would say that the law is generally less harsh on mistakes, especially when dealing with the police or in court.
  • Merlin139
    Merlin139 Posts: 6,910 Forumite
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    M&S by selling out of date food are in breach of Health and safety. Report this to your Local Council.

    Your should be able to make the complaint online. Environmental Health may visit the store to carry out a spot check. Each item that they find can cost up to £5000 if they take M&S to court.

    Every 6 months M&S Audit each store and if 1 item is found that is out of date it would cause the store to be re inspected for DEF (Date Expired Food) The stores do take these Audits vary seriously and they are unannounced.

    You should also inform the M&S Store that you have reported it to Environmental Health.  
    3.795 kWp Solar PV System. Capital of the Wolds

  • misimp
    misimp Posts: 51 Forumite
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    @ Roger Bareford

    No. Frankly I don't think I would have done even if they hadn't done the refund. I would probably have just taken it back next time I ventured down to that area

    I just used it in an attempt to illustrate how serious it could be for them.....It worked :disappointed:

    wrt your experiences with traffic issues, yes it happens if you are suitably ashamed and appear contrite........but I guarantee that you will not be able to do it if the warden has started writing the ticket or you get a speeding ticket having activated a speed camera

    I'm much calmer now I've taken my medication :D
  • misimp
    misimp Posts: 51 Forumite
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    edited 23 December 2021 at 9:34PM
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    Merlin139 said:
    M&S by selling out of date food are in breach of Health and safety. Report this to your Local Council.

    Your should be able to make the complaint online. Environmental Health may visit the store to carry out a spot check. Each item that they find can cost up to £5000 if they take M&S to court.

    Every 6 months M&S Audit each store and if 1 item is found that is out of date it would cause the store to be re inspected for DEF (Date Expired Food) The stores do take these Audits vary seriously and they are unannounced.

    You should also inform the M&S Store that you have reported it to Environmental Health.  
    True, but as has been said, these things happen with the best will in the world, and I don't for one moment think that this is a regular occurrence there, in which case TS is a sledge hammer for peanut

    I think it was the cavalier attitude and the fact that they didn't initially think to check the store to ensure that none of the other packs were ood that annoyed me




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