High ranking doctor of food safety confirms the increase in risk of harm to the public caused by Sainsbury’s if they continue to sell products from Grimsby based Scratch Meals
LONDON – Oct. 11, 2019 — Sainsbury’s PLC and its board are facing mounting pressure to recall a range of products manufactured by Scratch Meals Ltd, after BRC inspectors visited the site in revoked its food safety standards certification. In a comment, BRC Compliance Audit Manager said: “We visited the [Scratch Meals] plant [on 27th September] and as a consequence [their] certification has been suspended. The site will need to put in place sufficient corrective actions and a further audit will be required for them to regain their certification status.”
London based serial entrepreneur, Amar Lodhia and founder of the online meal delivery service Fit Kitchen (www.fitkitchen.uk.com), is issuing legal proceedings Sainsbury’s for its continued sale of these unsafe products after his business, Fit Kitchen is said to have received an unprecedented amount of misdirected complaints regarding a same name product, Fit Kitchen, produced by Scratch Meals Ltd.
Sarah White, Fit Kitchen’s spokesperson said “We have logged 18 foreign object complaints in the past 12 months, 4 of which came in the last 3 months. This shows the increasing risk and frequency of someone being affected by Scratch Meals negligence to food standards”
Since May last year, confused members of the public have reported instances of glass, metal objects, pieces of plastic and stones being found in Scratch Meal’s products to the online meal delivery service Fit Kitchen. In an email to Mr Lodhia, the Food Standards Agency’s Incidents Team confirmed “issues had been found” by the Local Authority inspectors at Scratch Meals site.
BRC reinstated Scratch Meals’ certification yesterday, which meant that Sainsbury’s Head of Dispute Resolution lied to Mr Lodhia’s representatives last week as he said in an email on 1 October 19 that Scratch Meal’s had been given the all clear by BRC, when they clearly had not. It confirms that the supermarket has continued selling food from Scratch Meals Ltd whilst their food standards were below BRC standards.
To further add to the troubles concerning the Sainsbury’s supplier, Essex based freelance investigative journalist, Suzanne Coen was admitted to hospital in July and underwent a medical procedure after swallowing a foreign object found in one of the prepared meals produced by Scratch Meals. Ms Coen purchased the contaminated product from Sainsbury’s store in Romford, Essex. Another Sainsbury’s customer from Reading claimed to have suffered an anaphylactic shock whilst driving due to poor labelling of allergens on Scratch Meal’s products. Both complaints were misdirected to Mr Lodhia’s Fit Kitchen.
On 10 September 19, Sainsbury’s own Product Safety Lab sent an email, by mistake, to Mr Lodhia’s Fit Kitchen, in which a Product Safety Analyst confirmed that a Surrey based customer had sent in a Scratch Meal’s product which had been found to have pieces of plastic in it.
Sainsbury’s were asked to confirm the safety standards of their supplier by way of a statement of truth by Mr Lodhia and his legal team, but have failed to provide this.
According to Fit Kitchen’s founder, Amar Lodhia: “By the current, increasing rate of these misdirected complaints, we fear that at least six people could be seriously injured or lose their life as a result of Scratch Meals and Sainsbury’s negligence between now and June 2020”
On 8 October 19, Dr William Mason, a renowned Food Safety Expert from Northumbria examined the evidence presented to him. In an independent witness statement (verified by a statement of truth) Dr Mason confirmed that “in his professional opinion that public are at an increasing risk of harm from Scratch Meal’s products if Sainsbury’s continues to sell them”
Scratch Meals has supplied Sainsbury’s with the Fit Kitchen range since January 2017. BBC’s Master Chef Winner, Ash Mair designed the range for Scratch Meals in August 2016. In spite of the safety concerns surrounding its product, Scratch Meals have recently doubled the number of products in this Fit Kitchen range (soon to be called Fit Box) and Sainsbury’s have continued to sell them.
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NOTES TO EDITORS:
- All files and related images for this release can be found here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1KwSnVQRw9TD1-O0TUfE-jPLD_NweAs44
- BRC is a leading brand and consumer protection organisation, used by over 29,000 certificated suppliers over 130 countries, with certification issued through a global network of accredited certification bodies. BRC’ Standards guarantee the standardisation of quality, safety and operational criteria and ensure that manufacturers fulfil their legal obligations and provide protection for the end consumer. Certification to BRC’ Standards is now often a fundamental requirement of leading retailers, manufacturers and food service organisations.
- Mr Lodhia filed proceedings against Scratch Meals in October 2018, the trial of which is scheduled to be heard on the 16th and 17th June 2020. Mr Lodhia’s representatives, Bridge McFarland LLP are seeking an expedited trial in light of the recent complaints, the hearing for which is on 14th October 2019 at the Intellectual Property and Enterprise Court, London. Mr Lodhia has forced Scratch Meals to rebrand their Fit Kitchen range to “Fit Box”, which is due to happen imminently.
- Fit Kitchen Ltd was set up in 2015 by aesthetic bodybuilder and athlete Amar Lodhia, who as a former CEO of a national charity and a multi-award winning entrepreneur with a very busy life faced the problem of eating in line with his training goals. It is an online bespoke fresh fit food delivery service, which helps people to manage their daily calorie consumption through its web-based platform.
- Scratch Meals launched its Fit Kitchen range with just four products in January 2017 in selected Waitrose, Booths and Sainsbury’s stores. The range, now consisting of eight products, is now stocked exclusively by Sainsbury’s across 420 stores. https://www.thefitkitchen.co.uk/about
- Dr William Mason, (PhD, FRSPH PhD, RFoodSP) of WM Consultants is a former Environmental Health professional who has carried out over 8,000 inspections of food business operators.
- Suzanne Coen, is an investigative journalist based in Essex, https://suzannecoenreporter.com/
Fit Kitchen Ltd
Sarah White, Public Relations