Product Integrity Commitment

Last updated: 23/09/2016

Tesco is committed to providing customers with quality products which meet the highest safety and legal requirements.

Our product standards are robust and reflect the enormous importance we attach to safeguarding product safety and quality for our customers. We are proud of the work that we and our suppliers do together to continuously improve standards for the benefit of our customers.

We have a range of manufacturing and farming standards which cover both food and non-food products (including clothing, home, household, toys and electrical products). Our standards outline best practice in product safety, legality and quality and they cover the lifecycle of all products from raw materials through to the shelf edge and online.

Our experts

We have a team of scientific and regulatory experts that ensure the products we sell are safe and comply with all necessary legal requirements.

We also have a dedicated, highly trained technical team who work closely with our suppliers and guide them on how to achieve compliance with our standards. We pride ourselves on the strong relationships that our technical managers have with our suppliers. Working together they continuously improve the processes and controls used to bring our great quality Tesco brand products to our customers.

Our product risk experts look for changes in legislation, emerging risks and new technologies which might have an impact on our business and customers. To support this process, the team work with over 100 external organisations including UK and EU Government, trade associations and research bodies.

Sourcing and manufacturing

We provide our manufacturers and growers with industry-leading technical standards and policies so they can consistently offer safe, legal products of the quality our customers expect.

We work with over 8,000 suppliers across more than 9,000 production sites all over the world and each year, 130 specialist auditors carry out thousands of site assessments.

To help our suppliers we provide support and training in the latest product safety techniques. To do this we have product sourcing offices in 22 countries, providing bases for our own experts in the local supply chains and production methods.

Food safety, nutrition and labelling

We provide nutritional and product information to ensure our products comply with legislation and government guidelines but also so that our customers are provided with clear and accurate information that helps them make informed decisions.

Making products healthier is an essential part of what we do. Some of our biggest achievements have been:

  • Reformulation of approximately 4,200 products over the last four years
  • Reducing the calorie content of our soft drinks by 4.6 billion by removing 1,400 tonnes of sugar from soft drinks – this is 20% reduction since 2011
  • Introducing 24 lighter wine choices with an alcohol by volume (ABV) value of less than 5.5%.
  • Removing 15 tonnes of salt from our own label butter and spread range
  • Removed 116 tonnes of sugar and 2 tonnes of salt from our cereals range
  • Introducing a labelling system in August 2013 that combines guideline daily amounts (GDA) system with at-a-glance colour coding

You can find more about our work on helping to improve health here.

Product testing

We check the products we sell are safe for our customers and legally compliant and work with our technical teams and suppliers to resolve any problems we find.

Our testing programmes are risk-based and cover all products. They include routine surveillance and monitoring as well as projects set up in response to emerging issues identified from incidents or investigations.

In a year, we typically conduct 100,000 authenticity, contaminants, compositional, non -food formulated and microbiological safety tests on over 15,000 samples.

Specifically relating to poultry, we’ve set new Campylobacter specifications. We have worked to reduce the risk of Campylobacter through initiatives such as creating best practice guidelines on chicken handling during processing, and introducing measures to minimise contamination on the outside of packaging. We also publish our Campylobacter testing results quarterly here.

Distribution and stores

We take care to look after our products from the moment we receive them from the supplier and right through to when we deliver it to our customers. We develop robust food safety policies, training and store standards to ensure product remains safe and of a quality our customers expect.

We complete store audits to support the consistent standard of operations expected by our customers and drive continuous improvement. In 2015-16, a total of 7669 store audits were conducted to assess the quality, legality and safety of our products and stores.

We are the leading supermarket in the display of Food Hygiene Rating scores with all UK stores proudly displaying their audit results since August 2014.

Emergency product withdrawal and recall

We ensure the safety of our products through thorough incident investigation management when necessary and any products that fail to meet our high standards are removed from sale.

To further build on our supply chain controls we have introduced a requirement for suppliers to have an independent whistleblowing line. More details can be found here.

 

 

For more information contact our corporate responsibility team - cr.enquiries@uk.tesco.com