‘Fear of mocking over horsemeat scandal’ prompted Tesco to boot out burger van - claim

PUBLISHED: 12:54 11 April 2013 | UPDATED: 13:01 11 April 2013

John and Lorraine Bates with their burger van outside Tesco

John and Lorraine Bates with their burger van outside Tesco

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A BURGER van has been forced from a Tesco car park in Hatfield – because of bad publicity and jokes over the horsemeat scandal.

The owners of the van, called Bon Appetit, say they can trace their burgers back to source and guarantee they are horse-free, but they said the furore led to them being ordered off the Oldings Corner site.

Tesco customer service worker Matthew Davis, revealed the horsemeat scandal was one of the reasons for the eviction – with the chain fearful of “mocking”.

In an email to Bon Appetit customer Stephen Crowe, which has been seen by the Welwyn Hatfield Times, Mr Davis wrote: “One reason noted was the recent horsemeat revelations.

“I must stress that this is not the sole reason for ending the agreement.

“People in higher positions than [store manager] Mark and myself felt by having a burger van outside our store leaves us open for potential mocking; for lack of a better term.

“Indeed, since the horsemeat information came to prominence there have been a number of jokes about affected retailers as well as online viral pieces.”

Bon Appetit owner Lorraine Bates told the WHT the store manager at the Hatfield branch for letting them trade there and said he “went out of his way to help us”.

Asked what the future holds, she said they would take a break for two weeks and look for another site to trade from.

“There’s nothing we can do, you know when you’re up against a brick wall,” she said.

Bon Appetit’s woes have formed a long-running saga, where the van Mrs Bates runs with husband John, has been moved on from other sites in Oldings Corner, after they were initially told to leave their spot outside Next.

Asked directly if horsemeat fears played any part in the decision to remove the couple, an official Tesco spokesman said: “This was a temporary arrangement which came to an end and I don’t have anything further to add to our statement at this time.

“We remain on very good terms with her and wish her all the best for the future.”


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