You are currently viewing “Shameful”: an insult and bleach on unsold items from Lidl in Jemeppe-sur-Sambre, what happened?

“Shameful”: an insult and bleach on unsold items from Lidl in Jemeppe-sur-Sambre, what happened?

  • Post category:Economy News
  • Reading time:3 mins read

A resident of Jemeppe-sur-Sambre, in the province of Namur, sent us a snapshot where we see unsold food from the Lidl brand, sprayed with bleach. He does not understand why these products are so defiled, when so many people are in need. The distribution company also has an active waste-hunting policy.

“Ashamed” is the comment that accompanies the photo above, received via the orange Alert us button. We see quite distinctly apples, pears, lemon fillets, … And a can of bleach with the inscription: “Get off stinky!”. Our witness (who wishes to remain anonymous) writes: “The Lidl of Jemeppe-sur-Sambre pours bleach so that no one can take any of the food”. He finds “that in times of crisis, they could make these items available to those most in need. People cry every day for even an apple or something and they prefer to do that”. He adds that the snap was taken by someone who helps people in need.


©Alert us

What happened ?

We contacted the supermarket chain. Lidl, which is committed to the fight against waste, says it is surprised that unsold goods are not supposed to be thrown away (and sprayed with bleach).

On the contrary, the discounter has implemented several measures to reduce food waste as much as possible. Measures that we will detail later.

After internal verification, Lidl confirms that there was indeed a “gesture”, installed by an employee of the Jemeppe-sur-Sambre store. The sign indicates that this is an isolated incident, which in no way respects the procedure. A reminder of this procedure will be precisely made to the employee in question and there will be a measure taken against him, but this cannot be revealed to us.

The distribution group lists the arrangements made to avoid wastage. First of all, the optimization of orders to better adapt to demand. Then, the food is discounted.

Sacrificed prices

Two days before the expiry date, a 30% reduction is granted. The same day, the goods are offered at a ridiculous price: 50 cents for meat, fish and pastries. 20 cents for dairy products and packaged vegetables. And one euro for three-kilo boxes of fruit, vegetables and dry food. Proceeds from these sales are donated to Food Banks.

Transformation into energy

However, there are still food surpluses. Products suitable for consumption are offered to the Belgian Federation of Food Banks, which collects them from Lidl’s distribution centres.

Expired food, which can no longer be consumed, is placed in a box for organic waste. This waste is then transformed into biogas.

Let’s go back to the Jemeppe-sur-Sambre incident, the collaborator would have explained “having acted in response to thefts from this box for organic waste”. Lidl says it does not excuse this action, but the distribution company would like to point out that “the food there is no longer suitable for consumption and can therefore represent a danger”.

On its website, Lidl also specifies that its ‘zero waste’ operation has made it possible in 2021 to avoid food waste of nearly 2,000 tonnes and to donate 302,607 euros to food banks.