The investigation was conducted by BBC One’s Watchdog programme, following concerns raised by a whistleblower.
Food safety concerns raised by the programme included complaints about the cleanliness of delivery crates and the packing of loose vegetables and unbagged uncooked meat alongside other products.
The BBC said the tests were conducted by a government-accredited microbiology laboratory for the show.
Tests were carried out on crates from 10 different deliveries, with three found to be as dirty as a kitchen floor. Two were found to be “extremely dirty” and had the same level of bacteria as “a kitchen bin”.
Another whistleblower sent pictures of crates covered in mould and squashed fruit, while one customer showed the programme maggots she found in a cat food box from one Asda delivery.
Asda said it had acted immediately to remedy the specific problems raised and to ensure standards were improved and maintained across all of its home shopping services.
‘Deserve the highest standard of service’
An Asda spokesman 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 supermarket giant has since ordered a deep clean of all of its home delivery vans, as well re-briefing its workers on food safety rules.
It hoped that a combination of re-training, industrial cleaning of crates and reinforcing bagging rules would increase customer confidence in its service standards.
Meanwhile, why not register for the Food Manufacture Group’s free, monthly Supply Chain and Logistics Newsletter? This month’s round up featured reports about two men who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud in selling horsemeat as beef, a police investigation of a death in a Sainsbury warehouse worker, plus a host of other food and drink supply chain news and views.
List of actions taken by Asda
- It has deep cleaned every home shopping van to make sure that they are meeting the high standards it expects, which will continue every week.
- It has improved the ‘spillage kits’ in all its vans, so that its drivers are able to clean small spills quickly and easily.
- It has re-briefed every store colleague about food safety rules for home shopping, including the use of separate red bags for raw meat and clear bags for loose produce. This re-briefing also covered its ‘clean as you go’ rules for home shopping crates.
- It will introduce additional deep cleaning for all delivery crates in all stores, which it trialled this summer.
Source: Asda spokesman