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Monthly Archive 5 May 2019

Michel's Sells Expired Food

Michel’s Patisserie Sells Expired Food

Michel’s Patisserie part of a troubled portfolio of franchise brands owned and operated by the largest of food brands in Australia, and is facing a major food safety investigation after selling expired and potentially unsafe foods.

National bakery chain Michel’s Patisserie is facing a food safety investigation after deliberately selling batches of chocolate cakes, birthday cakes and edible decorations to customers several months after their actual Use-By-Dates.

Several memos from Retail Food Group (ASX:RFG), who owns the Michel’s Patisserie brand, were leaked by Michel’s concerned franchisees.  The memos on RFG letterhead gave clear and unambiguous instructions to ignore expiry dates on the packaging and extend the shelf-life date of products between two to six months beyond the normal expiry dates; which has caused an uproar among staff and franchisees who are concerned about food safety and the health of their customers.

Expired Food

Retail Food Group franchisees are forced to buy products under the terms of their agreements. RFG supplies the franchisees with frozen products that are then thawed out and sold to customers. Since the shift from fresh to the frozen food model, the food quality has significantly dropped which has resulted in sales dramatically tumbling in recent years according to disgruntled franchisees that are strongly criticising the Master Franchisor.

These shelf life extensions have triggered the NSW Food Authority to refer RFG for an investigation to its counterpart in Queensland, where RFG is headquartered on the Gold Coast.

The Sydney Morning Herald has been doing an expose on the woes of RFG and the complaints of customers and franchisees for some time – here is there take on this story: ‘Really dodgy’: Michel’s Patisserie faces investigation over expiry date outrage

In recent years RFG has been under pressure with disgruntled franchisees, law suits, dramatically falling share price and large debt on its balance sheet.