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McDonald's accused of selling old food

TT/The Local · 14 May 2010, 08:56

Published: 14 May 2010 08:56 GMT+02:00

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The "Dokument Inifrån" programme discovered the practice by keeping tabs on chicken salads at a McDonalds restaurant. The same salads were sold a day later with a new date stamp. The practice breaks McDonalds’ pledge to only sell fresh food.

"I won't use bad language, but this makes me really, really cross, because this is completely unacceptable," said Lotta Björk, personnel director for McDonald's Sweden.

"When our guests come to us, part of our purpose is to sell warm, tasty food speedily to our guests, and that’s what you should be able to expect as a guest."

The documentary, to be broadcast on Sunday, also shows that burgers are sometimes left on the hot plate longer than the permitted ten minutes.

Frida Berg, press spokeswoman for McDonalds, said she couldn't comment on the findings as she had not seen the programme.

Story continues below…

"We naturally wish to address the criticism and we take it very seriously. But we need to wait until we know the basis for the criticism before we comment."

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

09:07 May 14, 2010 by Rick Methven
Yet another reason never to buy anything from McCrap
09:15 May 14, 2010 by EtoileBrilliant
McDonalds are an easy target. Even if there's a grain of truth to this, I'll still give them my custom, Swedish fast food is a pile of **** compared to McDonalds. I wouldn't let my children within 100m of Swedish grill korv or that zebra meat that masquarades as Kebab, here.
09:18 May 14, 2010 by byke
"I won't use bad language, but this makes me really, really cross, because this is completely unacceptable," said Lotta Björk, personnel director for McDonalds Sweden.

Thats one of the best responses from a company I have heard for a long time ... a breath of fresh air!
09:43 May 14, 2010 by uunbeliever
"our purpose is to sell warm, tasty food" ??? ROFL.

@EtoileBrilliant It's all crap, why don't you give your kids real food instead of ANY fast food? And Kebab is not Swedish. Swedish food is inlagd fish, hardbread, more fish but they are becoming a fast food nation just like the fatties over the pond!
09:43 May 14, 2010 by calebian22
"When our guests come to us, part of our purpose is to sell warm, tasty food speedily to our guests, and that's what you should be able to expect as a guest."

Fast food is synonymous with lowered expectations.
09:52 May 14, 2010 by Da Goat
This is no big deal really McCrap food is so full of preservatives it will last for years,

it will remain edible until it dries out or the vegetative matter rots (as they have not worked out how to preserve fresh produce yet), God only knows what it does inside you!
09:52 May 14, 2010 by Douglas Garner
Was this corporate or franchise stores? Was it limited to a specific region or district? After over 20 years in the corporate restaurant world, I have learned such generalized headlines almost always are the result of fairly isolated or localized issues.
09:52 May 14, 2010 by peropaco
This is a common practice in Sweden to sell outdated food. Two years ago ICA food chain got busted for re-dating expiration date on meat. I am sure they still do it today.
10:25 May 14, 2010 by flintis
What's new, lets face it they sell sh!t so would anyone really notice the difference??

MAX is a far superior alternative
10:47 May 14, 2010 by BrittInSweden
MAX burgers taste like crap fresh. Old McDonalds burgers taste better.
11:38 May 14, 2010 by Beavis
Yes agree this is common practice and a much more problematic issue in Swedish supermarkets(although may be mostly a Stockholm issue?) as McCraps are supposed to follow world franchise rules on this (This program if it really wanted to point out things, should be going into the ICrAps and Poops and showing the rotten produce thats on sale.

I have complained numerous times about rotten (and I mean rotten) food on the shelves in the local ICrAp in Väsby to no avail and even found once they had put the rotten food back on the shelf after I handed it in!

I now throw any rotten food I find on the floor of the supermarket.

Why does this only hapen in Sweden, Ive been in developing countries and not seen rotten food for sale.

Answer, due to Swedes "putting up with it" and not complaining.
11:56 May 14, 2010 by terianne
What I never understood when I move to Sweden and went to McDonald's is why they NEVER use gloves when handling food. In Singapore (where I am from originally) McDonald's staff ALWAYS had gloves on when handling food..

While fast food has a wide spread reputation of being unhealthy, I am happy that you can go to McDonald's nowadays and choose to have sallads, baby carrots and fruit for the kids meals. I like that they have fresh juices as well. More varied choices allows for a broader customer base...redating food dates...that just sets the company back 10 steps from how far it seems to have come.
11:57 May 14, 2010 by flintis
@BrittinSweden. with 2 tees'?

Your taste buds have obviously been destroyed with all the mc'd crap you've been eating.
12:11 May 14, 2010 by peropaco
Agree with Beavis. You really have to walk far to find un-rotten fruits and vegetables and indeed the supermarkets get away with it cause noone complain about it. I purchased a couple avocados from ICA two weeks a go and when I opened one of them is was so foquing disgusting. I went back and got my money back. The cashier told me she would do it this first time but not again.. I laughed out loud.
12:22 May 14, 2010 by soultraveler3
It does seem like selling outdated food is more common here than in other countries. Usually, at least half the fresh produce in our local Coop is rotten.

Beavis is right, it is due to the fact that swedes accept anything while saying nothing.

You see it in their government, with customer service, healthcare and products, everything from food to clothing, is often of very poor quality and very high prices.

I'm all for being polite, and not going out of your way to act like an @ss if you find something wrong, but sometimes you need to have a spine and demand better.

As far as McDonalds is concerned I can't say that it's surprising that some of the stores do stuff they're not supposed to. Terianne was right when she said it is very gross/ strange that they don't wear gloves in Sweden when handling food.
14:20 May 14, 2010 by Felippe
Bizarre! We had exactly yhe same problem here in Brazil last week!!!!
14:31 May 14, 2010 by EtoileBrilliant
@uunbeliever - I know where you're coming from but sometimes you're not in touch with reality. Of course I try my best for my children (I'm the only person I know who reads the ingredients on the labels in Supermarkets) but on a long drive back from Kolmården or at while in transit at an airport after a 7 hour flight you're going to have to face reality and buy fast fast. My point is McDonalds is far and above any Swedish local alternative (and that includes Max - who thinks that hamburgers are made best with that old Swedish staple "potatis pulver").

So rather than getting sanctimonious and holier than thou with people who cross their threshold, give us a little credit when due. Fast food doesn't always mean cr*p food, even at MacDonalds.
14:50 May 14, 2010 by jack sprat
Wouldn't believe everything they write on the labels.

For instance out of date meat that is ready for walking out the door is put through the mincer and re-labelled and re-dated as mincemeat or used in other products,..not to mention what they do with meat thats been scraped up of the floor.

I agree with other posters that many food practices are more typical of third World countries.
15:57 May 14, 2010 by hugoalexandrecruz
I would like to see the Documentary! Can someone please send me information on how to see it, where?
15:58 May 14, 2010 by Gabbe
same happened here in São Paulo - Brazil last week, like Felippe said.

the manager was arrested and left prison after paying 1500 BRL (6300kr), however his Mcdonalds franchise still works.


it happens everywhere I guess. i've bought food on a big supermarket in in my city once and found out it was rotten when I got home.. my brother once found larvas on a fruit bar, which he bought on a supermarket
16:16 May 14, 2010 by stockholmvästeråser
Not surprised about this story. In the Ica Larsberg, I consistently find old cheese, way past the expiration date on the shelf, with mold. When I go over to the cash register person, and say, hej, this was on your shelf, the typical response from the staff AND the people waiting on line is one of aghast, that is, how dare i say something? In other words, it's ok. Don't worry about the cheese. They then laugh it off and go about their business.

The Swedish response to not make a scene or speak up is quite cultural. Much of their decision to avoid confrontation is based on Jantelagen. Anyhow, it is up to us, those who weren't born in Sweden, and those born in Sweden who wont accept substandard food and services to speak up. Not obnoxiously, but in a way that change comes. The only way we can get ICA and all of these other places that sell old food, is by speaking up. We have a voice, so why not use it?
16:35 May 14, 2010 by darrenj
I have not acquired the taste for cardboard yet!!!

Buy McDonalds and most of that money goes you know where. By MAX and most of that money stays here!!

By raw ingredients, seasonal, produced locally, cook it your self and you will be healthier.

And before anyone opposes, YES you can actually get your children to eat it the home cooked food as well!! Even on a Friday evening.
17:15 May 14, 2010 by cogito
@etoilebrilliant: "Swedish fast food is a pile of **** compared to McDonalds. I wouldn't let my children within 100m of Swedish grill korv"

Good for you. Just the thought of what goes into those korvs--Yuk.

@darrenj: "...most of that money goes you know where."

Yes, we do know where (part of) the money goes: The Ronald McDonald children's hospital here in Sweden.
18:11 May 14, 2010 by kenny8076
i cant believe with all the wars,killings, murders, rapes ect....ect in the world people can come on here and express so much hatred for a type of food. And call people fat that eat it. i have been eating fast food religiously since high school and cant break 150lbs. In the army i was too small!!! i just moved here and the fast food here is 100 times nastier than state side...... i cant BELIEVE Sibylla is allowed to sell those rubber ''hamburgers'' legally in this country. They look like those little toy foods you buy your little kids to play with in their play kitchens. The Maco burger they had here.......... was the sickest looking thing i have EVER seen!!! just cant see why people care SO much about what others eat. I have eaten at nice restaurant here and there isn't much difference than McDonald's except you eat off of a nice ikea plate, Swedes don't have much of a palette
19:19 May 14, 2010 by zooeden
Tell me something new!!!

Is The Local having this as news??? Thats whats happening in Sweden and sick benefits and mass murderers, thats hmmm swedish news huh!
19:27 May 14, 2010 by silly t
JACK SPRAT you got all wrong..fast food is not a tradition or culture in any third world country.....we don't eat roughage...call it crap
19:34 May 14, 2010 by Beavis
What needs to be done here at the supermarkets is pretty straight forward. A government department looking after food quality (same ones that inspect resteraunts) need to do random spot checks (frequent) for supermarkets selling rotten produce.If more than one or two items are found the supermarket should face a very large fine (say 100,000kr) (this will pay for the cost to hire people to do this)

they will only really learn when it hits them in the pocket. Why cant this be done?
20:03 May 14, 2010 by GOOD KARMA
Everything in moderation was quoted to me by a dietician and it is something I try to stick to, simply put, a burger once in a while will not kill you. As for taste, what your probably loving in the burger is Monosodium Glutamate which causes the umami taste, which is considered as the fifth taste and perfectly addictive. Let's be honest, we know that fast food isn't good for us, but it is convenient, this is the point, and Mum having to taking her kids there once in a while is not to be scorned at. As for rotten food, you know how much food is wasted each week, food we used to buy cheaper and cut the rotten bits out of, we are slowly losing our ability to read food, everything needs to be sterile and perfect........we are very fortunate that we have the option to turn our noses up at rotten tomatoes and mouldy cheese, there are plenty worse off than us, remember that.
20:17 May 14, 2010 by Beavis
@GOOD KARMA and there is no need to waste this food, it shouldnt be in the supermarket so long its gone rotten.

Simple (very simple) stock rotation would solvce this for everyone.

What they do wrong here is have far too much in stock, and far too much out on display. On a Monday (or whateverday) they put out say 500 bananas in one go, they sell lets say 50 bananas a day.

So instead on Monday put out 60 bananas instead. Check whats left on Tuesday and replenish until there is 60 on the shelf again. This way there is less chance of rotten fruit come Thursday onwards.

Have you ever gotten that last pepper in the supermarket here, no, becuase theres WAY too much out. (You may have got the last fresh one though!)
21:54 May 14, 2010 by Sheila Craig
I heard that the food we get in Sweden is Tesco Uk reject. I do find all the veg and fruit I buy has a very short life, carrots for eg will be going off two days after purchase along with potatoes, sprouting after three days!!!
23:00 May 14, 2010 by avatar
You guys must watch the doc. movie 'Food, Inc.'

09:20 May 15, 2010 by Rachel Helling
Redating old food is done in all food chain all over the world, unfortunately.

EtoileBrilliant - not all Swedish fast food is ****. Kebab is NOT swedish!

Compared to many countries, Sweden hasn't got much to chose from when it comes to fast food, but maybe it is for the better coz fast food is NEVER good for anybody. Fast food = **** food.

terianne - we do have to use gloves when handling food in sweden, i know so as a fact coz i run a cafe, it´s in the law. Sweden, compared to many countries has got the most strict laws when it comes to hygien. Health department could come any minute and one small mistake and we can be fined.

I used to love eating Indian take aways, but since i´ve been in UK and actually seen a lot of Take Away places, i stopped. And only then i started appreciating the strict laws we got in Sweden, especially when it comes to hygien.
09:56 May 15, 2010 by Rick Methven
" heard that the food we get in Sweden is Tesco Uk reject."

what planet are you living on? to believe that Tesco send their out of date food to the poor Swedes rather than give it to the UK homeless LOL.


Supermarkets are regularily checked by health inspectors and are fined if they have out of date food on the shelves. Most branches of ICA will give you a 25kr voucher if you show them any outdated food on display. In our local ICA Maxi, if you inadvertantly buy something that is out of date and return it, you will get double the value back plus a 25kr voucher.

The cost of a fine is much higher. It is enevitable that some out of date food gets missed by shelf stackers with all the thousands of items they carry
10:11 May 15, 2010 by Rachel Helling
Has anyone seen Gordon Ramsay, one of the best chefs in the world, or any of his co-workers, or any of Brittain´s great chefs, wear any gloves???

Coz i haven´t :-)
10:53 May 15, 2010 by darrenj
@cogito I had no idea there was a Ronald Mcdonald hospital in Sweden, sorry . You may excuse my ignorance but it does sound like a PR farce .

As for what is news worthy. Should only the major and VERY few tabloids in Sweden decide what is news? Massacres and and oilspills are daily occurances far away. Bad quality food in Sweden affects people living in sweden. Thelocal is just doing good public service. Why grab the same headline as others?
12:08 May 15, 2010 by wenddiver
It's 5:00 Am in the morning here and now you have me thinking about a McDonald'ds Shake and Fries. Why would anyone buy a salad at McDonalds????? Seems like asking what is the healthiest cigarette.......POINTLESS.
14:38 May 15, 2010 by Beavis
@Rick, this is a strictly ICA Maxi (as opposed to nornal ICA) policy. Ive spoke to the manager at our local ICA in Väsby where I found rotten cheese had been put back out after I had handed it in (same pack) As I didnt actually puchase it I was entitled to nothing and told "It happens" Obviously in Stockholm these health inspectors are unable to do there job and need ot be fired or retrained. ICa Maxi and CityGross are a little better from freshness, but when it comes to the local Poop,Willys,Hemcrap and ICrAp about 50% of the fruit and veg are rotten. This is due to lack of proper stock rotation. Yes it happens everywhere in the world wher you buy something get home and find its gone off OCCASIOALLY but not every single time to you go to th shop!
17:36 May 15, 2010 by jamtlandtom
Why should anyone be surprised. It isn't a practice particular to McDonalds.I'm waiting to see if the chicken "scandal" currently receiving attention in the UK, will come here, as I suspect the food source is the same, namely Brazil and Thailand.
23:28 May 15, 2010 by martell
Mothers and fathers, Swedes, learn to cook again!

Nobody needs fast food anyway. And the Swedish cuisine is good, and most of it is healthy, too.
11:45 May 16, 2010 by Streja
darrenj, this is huge story in Sweden because it was a documentary on SVT. It's not The Local's newstory but they are right in covering it.
13:26 May 16, 2010 by Leo Danial
Dear readers ... please be patient!

We should stop using these cliches about fast food!

The best brands like McDonald, Burger King, Pitza Hut, KFC, Subway ... & other brands had created loyality among cosumers. They R most of the time the safest, trusted, & experienced food ... specially for foreigners & tourists.

And it is fact ... Swedish cuisine is poor ... it developed by borrowing & learning from others ... Svenskar R eating everything now & enjoying it proudly.

Yet ...we had different tastes according to our backgrounds ... I don't eat sea food at all ... but I worship our homeland river fish being grilled on wood sticks ... it called MASGOOF. I am not very keen on orientalisk food ... I like the middle East & Mediterranean more ... but it is been years since we left .. & in different countries we started eating the different brands of fast food chains ... We don't have any regrets!

Sweden is the McDonald's heaven ... Swedish R there all the time ... I wish that there is a place for BurgerKing, KFC, & Piza Hut too ...

Yes ... people should learn to cook ... it is good, funny & money saving! Just stop repeating the stupid old arguements against fast food brands !

In Amsterdam, we invited friends to eat in Burger King & KFC ... because it was affordable & we miss the 2 brands in our city in Sweden ... they commented : but this is junk food .. we never eat it! then they ate it & enjoy it more than us ... It was better than their home cooking! they were surprised by quality & taste!
13:42 May 16, 2010 by diegoveggie
race to the bottom
01:38 May 17, 2010 by Swedeman
Leo Danial your little head is all messed up.
05:18 May 17, 2010 by GefleFrequentFlyer
Again, the swedish obsession with food dates....

I'm sure those friendly kebab-pizza joints at every road intersection would pass surprise inspection every time......

SVT makes me gag.
07:22 May 17, 2010 by NovaLand
I had bad bread in my McDonalds burger two times, tasting like mold. So they were definitivley out-daded by then. On the other hand, I've eaten there like 100 times without complaints.. except for one day that i needed to go to the hospital after a bad lunch there. After that i quit eating there.
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