Tesco, the UK’s largest retailer, has apologised after being hit with a series of complaints about the condition of its Christmas turkeys.
The supermarket group has pledged to investigate after customers claimed on social media that they bought “rancid, rotten” turkeys and had to order takeaways after discovering that the meat had gone off.
People complained on Facebook and Twitter on Christmas Day about the poultry, which costs up to £59 in the store’s Finest range.
Carl Barber, from Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, wrote: “This was bought only a few days ago and it’s out of date. 23 quid wasted now have no Xmas turkey for Xmas day. Any customer services available today??”
Alison Kendall, from Essex, said that her Christmas dinner had been ruined.
She wrote: “Thank you Tesco for the Finest Turkey Crown with a sell-by date of 26/12 that had gone off by the 25th … ruining our Christmas Dinner.
“Imagine my sheer panic at 6am on Xmas Day, opening the turkey wrap to be hit by that ‘gone off’ smell with 10 people coming to Xmas Dinner.”
Kirsten Shore, from Stafford, Staffordshire, wrote: “Snap! We had the same problem!
“Our first time hosting and a rotten turkey from @Tesco ruined our day! I’m devastated!
“Thanks @Tesco for selling me a gone off turkey and wrecking my first Christmas day cooked at my home!
“£250 wasted. An awful meal and eight sick people!”
She later added on Facebook: “I was very excited and worked super hard to make and prepare Christmas dinner for my family for the first time ever but thanks to the Tesco I served them a rotten, rancid turkey that was inedible.
“Not only that – the gravy was made from the turkey so that resulted in everyone’s meal ending up in the bin. Thanks Tesco!”
Tesco apologised on social media to people affected and offered them a refund.
A spokesman said: “We’ve sold hundreds of thousands of great-quality British turkeys this Christmas.
“We have exceptionally high standards so we will look to address the small number of complaints in recent days.
“We will get in touch with each customer so we can investigate how these instances may have happened.”
Last week, the retailer pledged that it would become the first to no longer waste food fit for human consumption.
The company’s chief executive, Dave Lewis, urged other supermarket chains to follow suit and adopt the changes, which it will implement by March 2018.
Along with all the other big UK supermarkets, Tesco has signed the Courtauld Commitment 2025, a voluntary agreement to cut food waste by 20% within a decade.