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Which? magazine: September 2021
In this month’s Which? magazine, Ellie Simmonds reveals the supermarket deliveries that arrive past their best. To uncover the freshest supermarkets around, we used 12 undercover shoppers to order more than 1,000 groceries.
The freshest supermarket had no examples of damaged packaging or gone-off food. However, the least-fresh supermarket sent us two packets of beef that appeared to have gone off despite being within their use-by dates. Another delivered a pack of Scotch eggs on their use-by date, root veg mash with just one day left and three damaged groceries.
Also in this month’s magazine, Lauren Merryweather explains the fraud economy. Banking, telecoms and online advertising industries all offer tools essential to a scammer – ways to reach victims and the means to steal their money. This month, we ask why these organisations aren’t being more proactive in shutting down fraudsters.
Also in this month’s magazine:
- The true cost of our clothes Chiara Cavaglieri and Yvette Fletcher explore the hidden costs of the denim industry, and find out why it’s time to take an interest in the impact of our wardrobes
- The best and worst DIY stores With home improvements surging in popularity during the pandemic, Marianne Calnan uncovers the best (and cheapest) places to buy paint and tools
- Appliances that keep it simple Jake Massey rounds up home products that provide quality without complexity
- Griddle and frying pans on test Cook up a storm with our top picks, and find out the best way to care for your cookware
From the editor
One sweltering Thursday evening last summer, my wife and I ate an impromptu roast chicken with all the trimmings. The plan had been to have it on Sunday, but the imminent use-by date on the chicken, spotted after the delivery driver had left, forced a rethink.
In 18 months of regularly receiving online supermarket orders, this is not an isolated example. Fruit and veg on the turn, fish that needs to be eaten sharpish and mince hastily chucked in the freezer are common. This month’s cover story – the first major comparison of freshness from online supermarkets – proves that I haven’t just been unlucky. Our mystery shoppers received beef that looked unsafe to eat, out-of-date cream and bacon on its use-by date, among numerous other items past their best.
When we shop in store, we can choose the freshest produce and reach for the longest use-by dates. But with online orders we’re at the mercy of supermarket policies and staff who are told to pick items against the clock, with little time to pay attention to dates.
Supermarkets have a responsibility to minimise food waste, but that should mean efficient systems – not passing the buck to unsuspecting shoppers who might end up throwing away food that they didn’t get a chance to eat in time.
Harry Rose, Editor, Which? magazine
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