Food

Greggs worker gets sacked after exposing ‘mountains of food that gets binned every day’

A Greggs employee who exposed the bakery chain throwing out ‘mountains’ of unsold food has been fired.

Nicole Iwalowo had been working at the branch on Western Road, in Romford, London, for a month when she says she began to feel ‘awful’ and guilty at seeing so much food ‘go to waste’.

After calling the chain out saying “there’s people starving around the world and all of this is going to waste”, the TikTok clip went viral and now stands at more than 450,000 views.

The video triggered thousands of angry comments and complaints to the bakery giant, after which Nicole claims she was sent home from work the next day and fired only a few weeks later.

Nicole, said: “Everyday we waste food like that [while working at Greggs]. We do ‘good to go bags’ but that’s only like two bags and then everything else goes to waste.

“That day I just felt the need to record it because I felt really bad throwing away so much food.

“The sandwiches get made fresh everyday with fresh ingredients and that day we threw away [lots and lots of] sandwiches – it was about five bags full of baguettes, pasta and yum yums.

“With the bakery, on a regular day, we waste [lots more] items a day as well.

“The sandwiches weren’t expiring there were just too many – it’s the company policy that sandwiches are freshly made every day so they just have to get thrown away for some odd reason.

“They should give it to charity or or just hand it out to homeless people. There’s a hostel near the store and lots of homeless people in the area.

“I just feel bad, I didn’t even want to work there after that.”

The bakery chain’s official policy states that it ‘hates food waste’ and that ‘donating unsold food to those in need is our priority’.

This food is donated through partnerships with charities and sold at discounted prices through outlets shops and the app ‘Too Good To Go’, but the statement admits that not every store has these partnerships in place.

It also states that for stores where none of the above partnerships have been put in place to donate leftovers, any unsold food is ‘returned and transformed into renewable energy’.

The chain, which recently announced plans to open 150 new branches, claims that ‘all unsold food is one hundred percent diverted from landfill’.

However, in the 20 to 24 hours a week that Nicole worked at the store for a month, she claims to have seen bag-fulls of freshly made, unsold food going to waste every day.

Nicole said: “I asked them about it and they always have the same answer which is – ‘you are aware that we do good to go bags’ but that’s only two bags.

“Maybe because they don’t close on the shift they don’t realise how much food is being wasted or maybe they’re aware of it but just too scared to speak up.

“They said they donate some to charity but I’ve never seen a charity truck come to the store so what’s to say that it’s going to any of the other stores and other staff said they never saw a charity truck either.

“Staff aren’t allowed to take any leftover food home, again just because of company policy.

“Apparently they used to let you take some home but people were selling it so now you have to pay for it or it goes in the bin.”

A spokesperson for Greggs said: “We have a number of initiatives in place to help reduce food waste across our shops including the redistribution of unsold food to community groups and charities.

“We are continually working to increase the amount of unsold food given away to those most in need and remain committed to putting an end to food waste.”

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