UK business leaders set to boycott UK-owned Eaton’s over ‘sad’ food
The head of Britain’s largest food supplier has vowed to boycott Eaton’s UK-branded grocery chain after the food giant denied its customers food safety concerns over the sale of its canned goods.
The decision by the British Association of Grocers to boycott the food chain comes after British supermarkets faced calls for tougher food safety rules and a call from the European Union for more transparency on food safety.
The boycott is expected to last until May.
Eaton’s chief executive, Tim O’Reilly, said in a statement that the company “stands with the food safety experts, food manufacturers and retailers who have urged the Government to urgently consider the future of canned food”.
“We believe that it is critical that food manufacturers have the tools and knowledge to safely and effectively manage the new risks of canned foods and, by extension, to safely deliver our customers the freshest and highest quality food available,” he added.
O’Reilly said the food industry would not be able to survive without the support of the Government.
“We will continue to work to ensure that the best food in the world can be delivered to our customers, and that the safety of our customers is always our number one priority,” he said.
The food industry has long warned about the risks posed by food products made from imported ingredients, including beef from Canada.
Last year, the European Food Safety Authority recommended that all cans and jars containing meat, poultry or fish should be tested.
A government report last year said a lack of controls on the supply of meat and fish was the primary cause of the rise in foodborne illness, but also noted that the country had the third highest number of foodborne illnesses in the EU.
Last month, a survey of more than 100 UK food and retail executives found that food safety in the country was “on the rise”, with food suppliers saying that more stringent food safety measures are needed to tackle foodborne contamination.
“I would expect that food companies will look to the future and see how we can better manage foodborne outbreaks,” food and drinks executive Paul Allen told the BBC.