McDonald’s chews over scare apology

McDonald’s agonises over whether to apologise to customers about Sudan 1 contamination

McDonald’s is considering issuing an apology to its customers over the Sudan 1 food scare after discovering that it has been selling products contaminated with the cancer-causing dye for ten months.

The fast-food giant has has been forced to withdraw its low-fat Caesar salad dressing which was found to be contaminated with Sudan 1. McDonald’s started selling the affected batch of dressing on January 17 this year, though withdrew it as soon as it became apparent it was contaminated.

A spokeswoman says: “We were affected in a very small way. It is not something that is going to affect the trust of our customers, it affected people on such a wide scale.” She believes that another affected dressing may have been on sale since April 2004.

The spokeswoman adds that McDonald’s is deciding whether to apologise to consumers for the problem. “As to saying sorry, we haven’t made a decision on that yet,” she says.

Other retailers have ruled out apologising to customers for selling contaminated products and are trying to find out how long they have been selling affected goods. It is thought that for some retailers, the products could have been in the food chain for up to 16 months.

Sainsbury’s says it will not apologise and does not know how long it has been selling the contaminated stock. Marks & Spencer would not comment, while Asda failed to reply to Marketing Week‘s calls.

Premier Foods, which supplied the contaminated Worcester Sauce which was used to flavour hundreds of affected products, was also unavailable for comment.

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