Monday, May 28, 2007

Not so gastro this time

I am a enormous fan of M&S food, even before my friend 'big L' declared that the reason all Marks & Spencer's food taste so good is their inclusion of essence of wine gum into everything they make. I think his theory may be slightly off the mark but nevertheless M&S has fed me well and helped me out on many an occasion. I can't imagine not having the occasional cheese scone or one of our family Christmas parties without a prior visit to M&S or a picnic - a picnic without their tuna pâté would just be wrong.
And now with the proliferation of the M&S Simply Food's, you can grab some of their fine food at many of the larger train stations and that's what I did this week. I popped into the Liverpool Street M&S and spotted a brand new range of Gastro meals for one. They're not the cheapest meals by any means but I felt like spoiling myself and selected the Roast Oakham Chicken with boulangére potatoes, roasted flat mushrooms & bacon. Slightly decadent for a work lunch but a tasty treat nonetheless. I did my usual trick and eschewed a carrier bag at the till when the cashier handed me one as I really don't need another plastic bag. I put my lovely looking chicken dish in my bag carefully as it said to 'keep flat'. However what it certainly didn't say was that the merest pleasure on the sides of the box would pop the plastic top off as the lids don't seemed to be sealed at all in this new range. When I arrive at the office, I realise that the top has indeed popped off my dish and my entire bag is filled with bits of onion, bacon and chicken juices. Really not good! And then to cap it all when I retrieved the bits I realised that it wasn't microwaveable anyway. The not being suitable for microwave was my own misconception however, as the plastic box looked microwaveable to me but the fact they've created a new range with boxes that don't seal is much more of a very bad thing.
When I popped back in on another day I noticed several of these pricy one person meals tops had popped off whilst on the shelf. This seems a really bad idea, what would stop a top popping off and someone sticking their fingers in my potential meal and then slipping the lid back on? It doesn't seem a very good idea to me. I don't approve of excessive packaging as much of it seems to be unnecessary and often not biodegradable but unfortunately we also need adequate packaging to keep the food safe, both in tact and hygienically. I have written to M&S about this issue and hope they will reply.


DD said...


Chicken juices on the Chanel lining of one's hand bag is a BIG no, no!

Shame on you M&S!


J said...

Fortunately it wasn't the Chanel - it wouldn't have fitted, it would have had to be M&S Gastro Peter Pixie range for teeny, tiny appetites to fit in my quilted baby. And of course if it had - just massive diva sized strop and lawsuit! But it still caused havoc and I feel they were not disturbed enough by my pashmina soaking up chicken juices trauma - ughhh!