Week on a Plate

The week digested: Morrisons end sale of eggs from caged hens

Catch up on the food news from 17-21 February, including claims a western diet can impair brain function and Stormzy being awarded Greggs’ first ‘Concierge Card’

21 February 2020

Morrisons stops selling eggs from caged hens

Morrisons has introduced an immediate ban on eggs from caged hens, two years ahead of the retailer’s 2022 target. The supermarket joins the Co-op and Waitrose in pledging to only sell free range eggs and puts pressure on its rivals to introduce a similar ban on the sale of caged eggs. “Improving animal welfare is very important to customers and it’s very important to us,” Morrisons egg buyer, Robert Hofmann, said.


Shipping regulations could contaminate fish and crustaceans

A new report from the United Nations has found that new shipping pollution regulations could increase pollutants pumped into the sea, according to The Guardian. The report from the International Maritime Organization, obtained by the UK newspaper, said the regulations introduced earlier in 2020 could be harmful to humans due to fish and crustaceans being contaminated by toxins.


Stormzy awarded first Greggs ‘black card’

Fresh from his success at the Brit Awards earlier this week, British rapper Stormzy was also the recipient of Greggs’ first ‘Concierge Card, which allows him to order Greggs whenever and wherever he wants. The ‘Greggs Black Card’ is available by invitation-only and enables the holder to obtain a “next level VIP” service. Nando’s has a similar card that it sends to celebrities.


Asda’s Q4 sales fall 1.3% due to “cautious” customers

Asda has reported a 1.3% year-on-year fall in sales for the final three months of 2019, with the supermarket chain claiming customers were “more mindful of their spending” during the period. According to Asda’s parent company Walmart, clothing line George was hit particularly hard, although its food business fared much better. Other supermarkets had previously reported similar dips in sales.


Scallops and lobsters return to Arran after fishing ban

There has been a substantial increase in marine life, including king scallops and lobsters, off the Isle of Arran in Scotland where fishing was outlawed 12 years ago. Populations of king scallops and lobsters have quadrupled since 2010, according to a study by the University of York.


Food safety checks plummet

According to The Times, the number of food safety checks in England and Wales has fallen by 58% in the past decade, based on an analysis of the total number of samples taken from food shops, cafes, pubs, restaurants and takeaways. Cuts to council budgets was blamed for the fall, with 21 English councils found not to have carried out any food sampling last year.


Coca-Cola faces criticism for green credentials claim

Soft drinks giant Coca-Cola faced criticism from environmental activists this week for denying its plastic bottles are single-use. The company’s latest advertising campaign said: “Single-use plastic bottles are only single-use if they are thrown away. The plastic in our bottles can be recycled many times.”


Domino’s Pizza in the spotlight

The Telegraph took a deep dive into the tumultuous fortunes of Domino’s Pizza earlier this week, following the delayed departure of chief executive David Wild. According to one analyst quoted in the article, cracks are now appearing at the takeaway pizza firm due to a difficult relationship with franchisees, little innovation in the food and “no investment in its IT systems”.


British sausages face potential EU ban

British sausage makers have said they could potentially be prevented from exporting their products to the EU due to the need for a certificate to sell animal products. According to the British Meat Processors Association (BMPA), the health certificate they will need to fill out does not yet exist and are worried not enough progress in negotiations has been made.


Western diet could impair brain function

New research has found that eating a western diet could impair brain function and encourage overeating. “After a week on a western-style diet, palatable food such as snacks and chocolate becomes more desirable when you are full,” said Richard Stevenson, a professor of psychology at Macquarie University in Sydney. “This will make it harder to resist, leading you to eat more, which in turn generates more damage to the hippocampus and a vicious cycle of overeating.”


Kellogg’s updates palm oil policy

Kellogg’s has updated its international palm oil policy in response to a petition launched by two British schoolgirls which garnered hundreds of thousands of signatures. The campaign was launched two years ago and sought to persuade the food manufacturer to cease sourcing their palm oil from “unsustainable companies” accused of destroying rainforests and killing orangutans.

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