Allied Bakeries hit by new round of malicious tampering

By staff reporter

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Allied bakeries Baker Bread Sliced bread

Allied Bakeries' Kingsmill sliced bread brand has been hit with a
new round of sabotage,with the company reporting the new incidents
to the UK's food regulator over the holidays.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) on 21 December said it was urging consumers to be vigilant after further suspected cases of malicious tampering were discovered. The products came from Allied Bakeries' Orpington plant in Kent.

Deliberate sabotage of a product is a plant manager's nightmare, one that Allied Bakeries has been having over the past 18 months as police try to track down who is embedding glass and other foreign objects in its bread.

The new incidents came to light after customers reported discovering foreign objects in loaves ofthe Kingsmill sliced bread. In one incident, pieces of glass were reported to be found inside thepackaging and not embedded in the bread. Three further incidents are currently being investigated bythe police to see if they are linked to an ongoing investigation, the FSA stated.

The Orpington bakery distributes to retailers, including supermarkets and smaller outlets, acrossthe south east of England.

Over the last 18 months, the FSA has been working with the police to discover the culprit. In thepast Allied Bakeries has reported at least five deliberate cases of malicious tampering of itsKingsmill brand. The objects include glass and sewing needles.

The company believes that the objects are inserted into the packaging after the baking process,but police have so far not determined whether the tampering is happening inside the factory or inthe supply chain.

The company first alerted police about the problem in July 2005.

Allied Bakeries' produces about 2.5 million loaves of its Kingsmill sliced bread each week. Sincethe tampering began police have taken DNA tests of each of the 300 staff at the plant, according toUK press reports. The firm has also introduced tamper-proof seals on packaging.

It has also installed CCTV monitors in the production area. Officers have also been workingcovertly at the bakery. Checks on staff leaving and entering the building have also increased, theTimes newspaper reported.

In addition to needles and glass, consumers have also found chewing gum, plastic discs and apiece of cloth inside its packs of bread.

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