The Danish TV show ‘Operation-X’ has exposed systematic re-labeling of expired food products, poor working conditions, rat infestations and terrible hygiene at Denmark’s largest pizza chain, Domino’s.
Operation-X, an investigative journalism show on TV2, recruited employees at the international chain to use invisible markers to keep a record how old boxed food was. The ‘moles’ would mark expired boxes in the walk-in refrigerator and then recheck them at a later date.
Top down instructions
Meanwhile, several former employees and managers told the TV show how they were trained to relabel products to extend their shelf life and decrease waste costs. One ex-employee claimed this was common practice in the UK as well.
One employee found a box of meatballs and shawarma that was 20 days past its sell-by date.
Very thorough cleaning required
Operation-X informed Fødevarestyrelsen, which took the accusations very seriously and conducted an investigation.
“The problem with systematically changing dates is that they can totally lose track of how old the food is. It can result in food old enough to be harmful to your health,” said Charlotte Kølln, the head of the investigation team.
Some 21 of the 30 stores were found to be breaking food regulations. A store in Hølbæk was fined 10,000 kroner for keeping seven kilos of out-of-date shawarma.
In the Domino’s on Vesterbrogade they found “rat-paw prints and massive amount of excrement’’. Similarly, a back room in a Næstved establishment was filled with rat droppings.
The store in Vesterbro has been forced to close immediately.
Carsten Falk, the chief executive of Domino’s in Denmark, has refused to comment at this time.