The Quorn conspiracy? Rogue factory worker ‘hid a chicken nugget in a pack of vegetarian cocktail sausages to sabotage the brand’
- Matthew Barlow, 42, vegetarian of 20 years, took a bite of the chicken nugget
- Factory worker may have hidden nugget to sabotage brand or upset vegetarians
- Manufacturer has interviewed staff and studied CCTV footage of production line
A rogue factory worker is suspected of putting a chicken nugget in a pack of Quorn cocktail sausages to sabotage the brand and upset vegetarians.
The manufacturer has interviewed staff and studied CCTV footage of its production line after a vegetarian was horrified to discover the nugget in a pack bought at a store in Kent.
Matthew Barlow, 42, of Maidstone, who has not eaten meat for 20 years, wasn’t sure what the nugget was even after taking a bite. ‘The texture seemed odd to me,’ he said. ‘It was chewy and not like a normal veggie product’s texture. I have no idea what meat should feel or taste like any more.’
Matthew Barlow, 42, had not eaten meat for 20 years when he bit into a chicken nugget hidden within a pack of Quorn cocktail sausages (pictured). Not recognising the texture of the meat he sent it back to Quorn to be analysed who confirmed the nugget was chicken
He contacted Quorn Foods, which had the nugget collected for testing and confirmed it was chicken. The company also revealed that its sausages, which are made of mycoprotein derived from a type of fungus, were produced at a plant in the North East that also handles meat products.
Mr Barlow said: ‘Because they had the packaging they could determine that it was produced at night when they had a skeleton crew on. They pulled the people off the production line and interviewed them.
‘They reviewed CCTV footage and couldn’t find anyone planting anything and no one admitted it.’
The real chicken nugget was found within a packet of Quorn cocktail sausages that state ‘proudly meat free’
He suspected that one of the factory workers ‘must have popped the nugget in the package to prank a vegetarian’. He added that fellow vegetarians would be ‘appalled’ to discover Quorn items being made alongside meat ones.
Quorn Foods said more than 90 per cent of its products are made at manufacturing sites that are completely meat-free and that it followed stringent segregation procedures approved by the Vegetarian Society and the Vegan Society at its mixed production sites.
It added that the production line at the undisclosed site in the North East is separate from those used for meat products and is always thoroughly cleaned down to prevent cross contamination.
A spokesman confirmed that the firm had interviewed staff and reviewed CCTV footage but had been unable to trace the source of the chicken nugget.
She added that its policies meant accidental cross-contamination would be impossible and conceded it was feasible it was ‘introduced deliberately by a factory employee’. Quorn has offered Mr Barlow compensation.
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