(The Pavement, 5 May 2010) Staff at Iceland’s store in Bridlington have been accused of pouring bleach on waste food to deter homeless people and ‘freegans’ from eating it.
Local homeless people whom he met while researching a system to distribute food to the home- less first reported the allegations to Councillor Liam Dealtry. The former mayor of Bridlington told the Daily Telegraph: “I was mortified. They said Iceland staff had been pouring bleach and the blue toilet cleaner onto the food they would normally eat.”
The frozen food firm’s marketing director, Nick Canning, responded saying: “One of our store staff suggested to one of the freegans [people who take unwanted food] not to do it because it might have been treated with chemicals… It has never been and it wasn’t actually done.” Tania Barry, a spokeswoman for Iceland, told The Pavement: “it is not Iceland’s policy to tamper with our waste products in any way. Our waste in the Bridlington store has never been treated, and it is outside company policy to even suggest this may be the case. Our staff are not encouraged to tell people that food has been covered in bleach or tampered with in anyway.”
She added: “We are not allowed to sell any chilled products past their use-by date and it is company policy not to offer any out-of-date food to charitable causes and the suchlike as we can’t guarantee it will be suitable for human consumption.”
Mr Dealtry has now pledged to write to local shops and hotels to encourage them to donate food. He has also called for the council to set up a taskforce to help homeless people in the area.