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Lidls and the Xylene Contamination cover up

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Published on: December 23, 2016

Many of you will be aware of the recent news reports with headlines like ‘Paint thinner in Lidls Gravy’ and how Lidls are claiming they are doing all they can to get to the bottom of the Xylene contamination in the October/November 2017 expiry batches of the Kania 300g Gravy granules.

A few things have bothered me about the reports

1. Like most solvents Xylene is a Colourless, sweet smelling. Yet the official reports have mentioned a strong chemical  after taste/smell when the gravy is consumed.

Much like Petrol or Natural Gas, Xylene as a product has a perfume added so that we know that it exists in the Environment around us. Therefore it is quite safe to assume that the Xylene contamination here is of a cleaning chemical rather than a petrochemical by-product leaching into the production equipment.

For the symptoms experienced by the family in Wales who featured in the News reports. We would be talking dosage well above 200 parts per million.  Which is considerably higher than just above the minimal level as presented by the FSA in their report updated on the 17th December 2016.

2. Within a couple of days after I called Lidl management out on the delay, in notifying the public as to the risks. Lidl’s have got rather creative with their publications. Claiming that the Current Published recall was released on December 5th to all their stores.

Yet on closer examination of the PDF released to the stores (Which was not printed out and in store until 18th/19th December 2016. Reveals this.


Click to see full size image

As you can see in the screen grab of that PDF document properties, the recall was as they say created on the 5th of December 2016, however it was modified on the 17th December 2016 at 13:12:03.

Which somewhat contradicts that this version from the FSA was on display in Stores from the 5th December 2016.  This is where is all starts getting really fishy.

3. Lidl’s claim that this recall was on their Website since the 5th December 2016, yet as Google cache shows, there was just a small link offsite on the 19th December 2016.

Then after I and The Independent (Newspaper)called them out about not notifying the public earlier. This is what is now on the Website.

It suddenly changed to this.

Notice how they now try to Social Engineer the 5th December date into their publication.

4. As far as I am aware as of the 19th December  every Lidl store in the U.K has carried this recall notice.

The first odd thing about it is that it’s revision date (As they have called it) at the bottom is actually post dated 2months after the previously shown modification date of the 17th December 2016 and it was published on the FSA website on that day. (I assume this is actually a end of recall date, not revision date as Customer services call it )

The other part is that the Store Managers have been instructed to place this on their top boards which are 8+ feet in the air, the poster must only be A4 size and the location is such that Customers cannot get with 6 feet of it. Basically Customers are supposed to be able to read this recall notice from over 13 feet away by line of sight.

The Managers were instructed that they were not allowed to place it in plain view at the Entrances, Tills or Exits. (Basically the normal locations if you wanted to make sure customers could see the notices).

There is one simple fact, at the Distance in which it was set in store from the Customer, most just assumed it was an advertisement.

Not the serious warning for Public Health that it actually is. Now when you compare that with the version they now carry on their website since after the 21st December 2016.

You will notice that this version now carries references to if you have consumed the product and what to do.

Yet on the 21st they issued a number of letters to affected customers, in case peep miss it are headed up with the words ‘without prejudice’. Which for you or I is like saying produced under duress, as in nothing mentioned in this letter carries any legal standing.

I should also mention that the reassuringly named Quality Assurance Team, is in fact a Social Engineered name for first line Claims Handling Department, or as we in the trade call them ‘Claims Deniers’. Unlike non self insured, insurance company claims handlers, this team is not signed up to the ‘Right’ agreement, therefore there is no agreement that they will not lie.

I have left the reference number intact, as this is a fictional reference number that they created by themselves several hours after my first report. It not actually my reference.

Just to Highlight here.

a. I have never been near Petersfield in my life.
b. As established the current recall was not in stores from the 5th December 2016.
c. The current standing is that they are not specifically sure when this therefore they have not yet isolated which batches in the October/November 2017 are affected by the contamination. Thus they are unable to exclude any batch.
d. We had consumed more the products spanning October/November 2017 expiry.
e. Officially the recall is still on the October/November 2017 batches.

When called out about this borderline criminal letter, which attempts to exclude injured customers from the investigation. Customer Services tried to claim a Supervisor was a Manager. Then tried to claim that a line Supervisor was a Senior Department Manager.

At which point this fake senior manager tried to misquote the information, ultimately however she did admit.


  • Quality Assurance is first line claims management.
  • The Customer services just repeat what they are told to say. (I should point out the story they have been told to present  has changed 5 times this week already, much of which is now contradicting the facts and chronology of the matter.

Quite simply, Lidl’s Quality Assurance and Customer Services, are now trying to manipulate the investigation. They want the general public to think that just a single batch that was consumed in Wales was contaminated with Xylene (Which contradicts the FSA report and the recall notices) and try and claim that the injuries to other customers are just figments of their imagination.

So was it a figment of my Imagination that at 10:45hrs on Sunday the 18th December that I had to explain (on recording) to Lidl Customer Service staff what the chemical involved was. As nobody had informed them. Interesting that, given that according to their current standing they had notified the public on the 5th December 2016 and Customer Services had been dealing with the calls since.

Rather than saying Lidls are being constructive with the truth. I will come right out and say it. They are blatantly lying and as the above shows they have been caught doing so.

And no I did not imagine, the headaches, stomach cramps, burns in my mouth, kidney problems (pain), liver issues, short term memory loss, anxiety, depressive feelings, passing blood  etc all of which are symptoms of exposure to Xylene, all of which got worse each time I consumed meals in which several containers of that whole two month batch had been consumed from. I reside and purchase in Berkshire, not South Wales. All of which has been ignored by Lidl’s Quality Assurance. Instead they allegedly used the last batch number and wont respond to the matter any further.

Basically Lidl’s are now ignoring any evidence from anywhere else, as far as they are concerned it is specific batch number that went to South Wales. Even though there are not even enough stores, in that location  to cope with a single batch run quantity, also larger stores tend to raid the supplies intended for smaller stores on the lorries, meaning intended supply batches can end up anywhere that a given lorry goes (Managers of smaller stores have been complaining about this for years).

Please excuse my Grammar/Spelling, I am Severely Dyslexic.

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