Reusable containers in supermarkets, the proof of our readers: ‘We had to give up’, ‘in small shops it is possible’. The (false) problem of hygienic-sanitary safety – Il Fatto Quotidiano

Some have written to the chains of Large distribution organized and those who have tried to ask supermarkets to “use containers own as long as they are reusable, clean and suitable for food use”, as required by Climate Decree of 12 December 2019. After the publication of the video investigation of Greenpeace on the non-application of the decreewithin the scope of the campaign Plastic trolleys and the call to action launched by ilfattoquotidiano.itsupporters (find out why support have been busy on various fronts. But whoever is on the other side of the has also written to us counteri.e. workers in large-scale distribution, explaining what often prevents them from satisfying i consumers who want to take the products home in their own containers. The node appears to be that of the sanitation safety, but it is a problem that can be solved. Generally, in fact, every supermarket uses a consultant who draws up the rules Haccpthe set of procedures aimed at guaranteeing the wholesomeness of foods, adhering to current regulations. “In Italy it has already happened that the rules have changed, obviously guaranteeing hygienic-sanitary safety to carry out some experiments” he explains Joseph Hungarianresponsible for the Pollution Campaign of Greenpeacerecalling the ‘Spesa Sballata’ project in Varese, “thanks to which the families who joined were able to purchase with their containers fresh produce at the counter gastronomy”.

Frontline supporters – A virtuous model, but not very widespread. They know it well George And Marisa who asked to take home, in their own containers, the cold cuts cut over the counter in the supermarkets of connecting rodEsselunga, Co-op, Bennett, Hypergross. “We had to give up” he writes, but “fortunately we have a small shop in the village, a Pettinengo, who instead does it willingly. So, most of the time we go there. We didn’t know there was a law and now we can appeal to that.” Frances Fort tells how it went to Conad in via Nomentana di Monterotondo (Rome): “When I was asked to be able to use their containers as required by law, the counter operators replied that they had no indication from the responsible and not knowing the provisions of the law”. In the meantime, Marco Radicioni wrote to Unicoop Tirreno and Coop Centro Italia to ask to apply the Climate Decree, an appeal which Silvio Alfonsi extended to Carrefour, Conad, Esselunga, Eurospin, Lidl, Tuodì. Silvia Parodi asked, through social networks, a Coop Liguria to be able to buy gastronomy products by bringing his containers from home. “Allowing customers to use their own containers for shopping at pose counters organizational problemsincluding that of having to manually set the tare weight each time container” replied Coop Liguria. Who adds: “We are working to find a satisfactory solution”. An answer, however, not convincing for Silvia, who recalls the law of 2019, according to which children should be allowed consumers to be able to use their own containers. “Frankly, the operation of setting the tare – writes Silvia to Coop – doesn’t seem like that to me complicateddo it for yours too containers”.

What do those who work behind the counter think about it – Andrew Barizein the province of Padua, contacted the customer service offices of the supermarket chain Aliwhere he usually goes shopping. “At the moment – ​​was the answer – in all the our stores the use of containers brought by our customers is not permitted because it is not possible to guarantee the sanitation safety of containers arriving from outside. Even a single container could contaminate the products and equipment of the point of sale: it is in fact our responsibility to guarantee the safety of the products until the exit of our crates”. A matter known to operators. So much so that, a also wrote Luca, who works as an employee of the butcher’s in a Conad supermarket in the province of Bologna. While arguing that too much packaging is used and the need to look for solutions to reduce their consumption, he underlined that “the current sanitation regulations that are applied in the departments of transformation of foods are very clear and defined. To comply with the various directives we must also register the production batches of the tubs used, in addition to those of raw materials and expiration sheets, cleaning and more”. Therefore, in the absence of a specific directive “where the procedures and eventual responsibilities, if a customer brings a container that complies with the regulations – he explained – as responsible for the sale at that moment, I cannot take the responsibility to use it, because to the eye it can be clean, but it could be contaminated by viruses or bacteria, especially with foods that will not be consumed after cooking”. And he added: “The problem of laws is always the same, after theirs approval specifications must be issued application”. Cinzia also works in large-scale distribution: “We can’t use the our cutlery to take bulk food and put it into these containers, rest it on the food which will then be given to another customer. Unfortunately it is not feasible. Let’s rather redo i cards with the card, which the consumers themselves will insert in theirs containers”.

The sanitation problem – Andrea Barizza proposes two solutions: “O the operator is required to use the container brought by the customeronce verified that it is visually clean, and once subjected to sterilization with ultraviolet light, or the supermarket could organize a returnable container, delivering the food to the customer in one tray which the customer would then bring back washed, but which would still be subjected to new sanitation. And this seems to me the most viable solution. Disappointed, meanwhile, Lorenza Zanardi of Parma who asked at the deli counter Coop to apply the 2019 Climate Decree. “The manager replied that theirs is more important regulation on hygiene – said Lorenza – according to which everything must be traceable, even the card dried ham”. She turned to Sigmawhere the fish and meat counter complied with his request, while al gastronomy counter first they answered yes several times, but then they denied her the possibility of using hers containers, explaining that it was against hygiene rules. No problem, however, in stores, from poll seller at the baker. Lorenza wondered, then, if it is possible that an internal regulation could have more value than a national decree.

Greenpeace: “It is the point of sale that must equip itself” – To answer her, Joseph Hungarian. “Article 7 of the Climate Decree introduces the sale with containers reusable and it also includes a ‘safeguard’ provision for the operator in order to guarantee that the practice takes place in safety” he explains. The merchant, therefore, “can refuse the use of containers which he deems hygienically unsuitable”. “Obviously the sale with such modalities must be allowed – he added – by defining the appropriate procedures (operational, training, Haccp) that must be followed at the point of sale”. In Italy, on the other hand, there are cases in which this method of sale takes place successfully and without problematic. They range from the ‘busted shopping in Varese’, which involved some supermarkets Coop And carrefour of the province, to the ‘Libera la Spesa’ project, recently launched in the Brands. “It is the point of sale that must be equipped – explained Ungherese – by updating its Haccp guidelines to train staff on the new procedures to be followed in each single situationalways respecting the regulations in force which provide the frame of reference”.

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Reusable containers in supermarkets, the proof of our readers: ‘We had to give up’, ‘in small shops it is possible’. The (false) problem of hygienic-sanitary safety – Il Fatto Quotidiano

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