A retailer has shown me a copy of the letter that Findus sent to them on Monday. It is very revealing.
Findus say they were told in writing on Saturday that they couldn’t guarantee what products were in their beef lasagne. Further, at least one supplier told them they couldn’t guarantee the conformity of the product they were supplying from as early as August last year.
At this point, a decent board of directors of a company should have had a single thought in their heads: get these products off the shelves, inform customers immediately. There should have been a huge public information campaign, refunds should have been advertised. Yet it was only Wednesday that people learnt that horse meat was in the food. We still do not know if phenylbutazone is also in the products.
For over a week Findus have known that they could not guarantee the contents of their beef lasagne for over six months. Think about that for a moment. How did they let that happen? Why didn’t they respond?
I think Findus are negligent. And I want to know when their executives had a reasonable expectation that the contents of the lasagne could not be guaranteed. Forget all the weasel words.
Moreover, I’d like to know when Findus were verbally told by their supplier that they couldn’t guarantee the contents of their lasagne.
Here’s the extract from the letter:
“investigations have led one of our suppliers based in France to inform us in writing on 2nd February 2013 that the raw materials delivered since 1st August 2012 are likely to be non-conform and consequently the labelling on finished products is incorrect. The supplier has asked us to withdraw the raw material batches.”