By Rashi Kesarwani
OC Voice Staff Writer
At a ribbon-cutting ceremony last month, the city of Huntington Beach honored the opening of the Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market, a sleek new grocery store described as a cross between 7-11 and Trader Joe’s, on 16672 Beach Boulevard at Terry Drive.
Fresh & Easy’s U.K. based parent company, Tesco, markets itself as a socially responsible, green and healthy, alternative to established grocery chains. Its smaller Fresh and Easy stores offer a variety of prepared foods that are billed as fresh and healthy.
And the local media has celebrated the chain’s Huntington Beach opening without challenging that image. One review in the Huntington Beach Independent gushed about the “successful overseas reputation that Tesco has established,” and that, “The meat, fish and produce were actually fun to look at.”
But other media reports from abroad indicate that Tesco’s track record has been anything but “fun to look at.”
After grocery workers from across Great Britain voiced their food safety concerns to the BBC television program Whistleblower, two reporters worked undercover at Tesco and another chain to investigate the allegations. Their secret video footage revealed systematic safety violations at Tesco’s fish and meat counters. (more…)