Pret’s Food isn’t Fresh

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… and “freshly made” is psychology, as well as not always true.

Please see customer pictures further below if you want to skip my detailed text.

UPDATED: August 2022

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Upfront: If you DM me on Twitter or Facebook, Instagram etc. please be aware that I don’t get notified! If I don’t respond within a week, try to get my attention again or contact me via my contact form. I am blacklisted on social media, shadow banned, my posts hidden at times in censorship after Pret must have reported me etc. I am often not notified when I receive a DM or a DM request. But they can’t silence me after I declined hush money and never signed the NDA.

After Pret ignored TWO customer allergen deaths, 15 year old Natasha Ednan-Laperouse (died 2016) and mother of five, 42 year old Celia Marsh (died 2017) and over a dozen further injuries before it got public, unsafe food practices not only continue without consequences, but have gotten much, much worse in broad daylight. There was almost a third fatality of student Isobel Colnaghi, who narrowly survived in 2017. She lost her lawsuit against Pret, because Pret didn’t break a law and successfully blamed a low wage worker.

There will be an inquest coming in September 2022 into Celia Marsh’s death as her husband is not giving up to get answers. He sued Pret but nothing could be proven if Pret was at fault. He now keeps going to have an official inquest with the vegan yogurt provider Coyo that supplied Pret with vegan products, but since Mrs Marsh’s death have been booted off by Pret. They blame each other.

The press is aware of this as I tweeted them in many times and emailed this blog post to many journalists as well as the Food Standard Authority. And maybe there is an investigation we don’t know of yet, or a journalist is going undercover to see for themselves. But this can’t go on like this.

I was a team leader in Pret with one of the job description being health and safety. I took that very seriously and never cheated on stretching expiry dates etc. Cleanliness and doing things PROPERLY was extremely important and my strength. This trickled down on staff who then also worked in a clean and careful manner, no matter how much pressure Pret threw at us. I REFUSED to cheat! Needless to say, I was never promoted beyond team leader level. And I ddin’t care!

Pret is very micromanaging and overly strict, penalising and bullying staff for the slightest, even unimportant issue. So, the below is extremely upsetting and offensive to me. I wasted 10 years in this toxic company doing my job extremely well, being known for my health and safety, hygiene work and record.

But now Pret want more money with less staff and quality. Hence, see the below.

Also, mislabelling continues where vegans and vegetarians eat meat, or people of certain faiths eat pork instead of whatever was labelled on their food. I collected only a few of the many, many complaints with photos: Vegans and vegetarians eat meat at Pret.

Pret are now breaking “Natasha’s Law”.

And before I go into some of the photos of customer complaints of mould and rat droppings on food further below, here only some of many food poisoning complaints.

UPDATE August 2022 right off the bat, several recent food poisoning incidences. One on 22.05.22 is from Paris. These issues I believe are a direct result of what I write and post on below.

The latest (as far as I checked) is posted on Twitter on 15.08.2022

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12.08.2022, Paris:

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01. August 2022:

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Twitter on 21.06.2022:

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13.06.2022 Chicken again!

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Other food poisoning incidences just as Links.

So, here is Pret A Manger’s psychology in using terms & slogans: “freshly made”. You can “freshly make” a sandwich with expired ingredients, mouldy cheese & stale bread. It’s “freshly made” with UN-fresh ingredients!

Also, Pret staff tell me that sandwiches and other products are now “carried over” to the next day(s) making Pret’s slogan “made today gone today” also false advertising. This is why staff don’t see the mould. If they would make a sandwich today from a mouldy or stale bread, they would feel/see it. But as some food is carried over in its packaging, they don’t see the mould and other problems like rat droppings, plastic, hair etc.

The following blog posts are important to read, and please be aware that these issues were BEFORE Brexit and the pandemic, in fact since years:

I mention these because I was contacted on Twitter in 2021 with the following, in part, quote:
“Pret have started keeping their food overnight and selling it the next day. Considering they’ve built their entire brand on the Freshly Made slogan it’s very misleading. They’ve also slowly started removing all the freshly prepared signs from their stores hoping no one finds out.”

End of quote.

30. July 2022, that’s the worst mould sandwich so far. “Freshly made” mind you. I reckon this one is at least 2 – 4 days old sitting in fridges. Also, soups get reheated several times which is also not allowed. Hence, complaints of bitter tasting soups keep coming in.

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Update 04.08.2022 a video from Pret in Berlin where you can HEAR the staleness of the bread. Just click the play button in the picture. You will also see further below complaints from Paris as this is company-wide.

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AND also 04.08.2022 four day expired fizzy juice:

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Many of below customer complaints are not in this YouTube slide show:

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UPDATE: September 2021

Pret together with the TooGoodToGo app now SELL leftover food for cheaper price in bags for people to pick up from shops. The OLIO app still give free food while TGTG app sells it now! Even HOT food that has expired after the 2 hours shelf life is now sold that Pret wouldn’t even give for free before, due to safety issues with the temperature fluctuation! Pret was VERY strict about this and I was reprimanded once by my Manager for giving out-of-shelf life hot food to the charity that picked up food in the evening! More detail: Pret A Manger Health and Safety Hypocricy.

So, when it comes to money, anything goes suddenly! And Pret sells expired food under the “charity” umbrella to collect money for the Pret Foundation Trust to, quote: “alleviate poverty” while having made cuts to staff wages and benefits. Pret workers are now on minimum-wage and have to top up their pay with benefits. Pret CEO Pano Christou even has the audacity to ask his low-wage staff for donations! Pret is trying to get money at EVERY turn having installed donation devices in shops that customers mistake for payment devices and accidentally donate to Pret! Katchink!

I strongly believe Pret should get investigated on where the donations REALLY go to! More on Pret’s Foundation Trust: Pret A Manger’s Charity Projects, and WHEN they do charity events.

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I have to mention like I did in above “Stretched Dates” post, that in Pret, many Managers and Leaders have always stretched dates, especially during the Christmas period when the depot sent short-dated ingredients to get rid of stock, as the holidays approached and stock was sitting around expiring.

I won’t bother posting all the Tweets of customers who complain to Pret with and without photos that the bread is stale, or the chicken tastes off etc. Just a few so you won’t need to take my word for it. There has always been date stretching, but since the lock-downs it’s gotten worse. Below Tweets are all from DIFFERENT shops, so this is not just the odd shop here or there, it’s throughout the board. And as a side-note, Pret received a cash injection from owners JAB recently: JAB pumps £185 million into Pret via MCA-insight.com

Furthermore, Pret received an additional £100 million from shareholders to open 200 more shops within 3 years. Pret also received help from the UK government with the furlough scheme as well as bank loans. Of course the bank and shareholders want their money back, so the squeeze continues. And with “squeeze” I mean raising prices, lowering pay to minimum-wage (the payrise in April 2022 is just for PR as the government raises the minimum-wage), benefit and other cuts remain in place, customers get ripped-off which I explain in detail throughout my blog and on my YouTube playlist etc. etc. etc.

Yet, Pret refuse to pay rent and have multiple lawsuits from landlords in the USA on their neck reaching into the millions, some I listed here: Pret’s Lawsuits and Settlements. Instead of paying their bills and debts as best as possible, they go ahead and open more shops worldwide. Quality suffers, customers are p!ssed off, boycott and staff walk out. What do you do when you have problems at home? You go out and continue the bullsh!t elsewhere in hopes they will never know how Pret fudges up back in the homeland (as well as those countries they’re already open).

UPDATE June 2022:

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13.08.2021 mould on cheese (for this Italian style “Parmesan” cheese to get mouldy, it takes a very LONG time. This means, this cheese has been stored way beyond its expiry date or the fridge was not cooled appropriately, and understaffed shops have no time to get it fixed):

04.09.2021 mould on bread:

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22.11.2021 mould on newly launched Christmas sandwich:

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UPDATE Jan. 2022

UPDATE May 2022, 2 mouldy products from 2 different shops in 1 day:

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A customer who seems to know that I write publicly on Pret issues posted to me on Facebook that Pret’s food isn’t freshly made. I first responded to his fair-trade question that Pret had to remove the word “natural” from signage and packaging, but my post disappeared (either got deleted by FB or hidden, I can’t find it) he responded:

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Link to FB post. Please click on “View … more replies” to see the post.

07.05.2021 Mouldy Cornichons!

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Now THIS is bad, because pickled cornichons and cucumbers take months to mould! This mouldy cornichon hasn’t just gone bad within days, who knows how long it has been sitting in that Pret kitchen fridge! More detail on the times when mould forms, here: Can Pickles Go Bad?

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Spoiled CRAYFISH in Paris 2019

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Spoiled foods during the pandemic: Chicken OFF!

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Popcorn out of date more than 6 days:

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Mouldy breakfast berry compote:

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Stale bread:

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UPDATE from July 2021 on:

Part of a private Facebook message with a former Pret staff who allowed me to post this on my blog. Their experience DURING the pandemic where sandwiches, products are kept over-night and expired foods are used, and to my surprise that the ready cooked factory soups that come in plastic bags now get frozen to keep them beyond their expiry dates. Their only game now is to not get caught by a surprise EHO visit:

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(mild = milk)

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A customer called Pret out on this:

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Link to Tweet.

UPDATE 31.10.2021

An indicator that soup was frozen before re-heating again. Customers usually rant and rave about the Mushroom Risotto soup being their favourite soup from Pret. But here, it’s the worst, quote: “runny like soup, hardly warm and tastes odd”. I used to freeze soups I bought from the supermarket or cooked myself. With “creamy” soups it does become runny and tasteless.

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About the milk, what the former staff is talking about is that when the Barista (or staff in general) have milk bottles out on the counter for 4 hours, it needs to be WASTED! Because the time for the safety of the temperature outside the fridge is 4 hours. In the morning, the counter is full of milk bottles, and they will all go by the end of the super busy morning coffee rush even within 2 hours. The morning person scribbles down the time with a black marker. So, when they put out the milk at let’s say 6am, and at 10am there are still 2 bottles left outside, they HAVE TO be wasted.

In the afternoon/evening shift, the coffee maker should usually have just 2 – 4 bottles out as it is less busy. But at times they put out too many bottles, ending up having to waste. But instead of wasting, they put the milk back into the fridge for the next day.

Thus, customers flock to Twitter complaining about bitter coffees. And I could give a gazillion other examples how there’s is cheating going on under the pressure of management. I explain it in detail here:
Pret A Manger also Stretched (Expiry) Dates

And important to mention that these practices where already done for years pre-Covid, it has just gotten worse now. A Tweet from 2019:

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And on the hygiene issues, I’ve done a whole blog entry on pest, mice, rats, flies etc. including rat droppings on food!

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UPDATE February 2022:

Pret London City Airport had a poor hygiene rating by a surprise EHO visit of 2 out of 5. It was mainly on pest issues and general hygiene. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. More detail on this: Pret’s Hygiene Rating December 2021.

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Some of many staff reviews:

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Link to General Manager review regarding “cheating” to please OPs Managers pressure.

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etc. etc. etc.

For other “gone off” foods, please visit pest infested Pret shops via
Rat A Manger & Pret A Mice or via YouTube with some “explicit” videos (you have been warned!):

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I worked at Pret A Manger and survived systemic workplace bullying during bereavement that involved HR, the top leadership, HQ and even the now “retired” former CEO Clive Schlee. I declined 4 settlement offers if I am silent about my ordeal. But I rather speak out to help others. For an overview of important blog entries of my experience with Pret, please visit “My Ordeal with Pret A Manger”. The little arrow to the right next to each heading will lead directly to the post.
An incomplete list on what other Pret staff say about Pret’s bullying environment: Caught in the Act Bullying at Pret.
I tell my story for the first time verbally in below audio player interview on a podcast by The Adam Paradox, and wrote two articles in the Scottish Left Review.

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Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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