Coles has responded to fiery claims of "disgusting" food waste by the supermarket giant after a video showing a large skip of discarded products was captured in the loading dock of a busy Melbourne store.
A man believed to be working in the loading area filmed the huge amount of stock being thrown out from the Coles store in Chadstone Shopping Centre, including "toilet paper, dog food, and soft drinks".
Incensed by the waste, he questioned why Coles wasn't able to donate the items, especially as customers face higher prices at the checkout.
"What a waste of money," he fumed.
"Coles Chadstone throwing their stock out due to a store refurbishment. No donation, not allowed to take from the bin," he claimed in a TikTok posted on Wednesday, which had more than 177,000 views at the time of writing.
"They're literally just throwing all their stock out... disgusting."
Coles responds to claims of wasting products
Coles confirmed to Yahoo News that it was throwing out the products, saying "contamination" was the reason behind the unfortunate move.
"We recently paused trading at our Chadstone store due to dust from nearby construction," a Coles spokesperson said.
"We have been conducting a deep clean of the store and, unfortunately due to product safety and quality, need to dispose of a number of products due to contamination from the dust.
"Where possible, Coles always donates product that is fit for use and consumption to food rescue organisations."
However speculative backlash after the video was posted online shows that many weren't prepared to buy such an explanation from Coles with one person questioning what "health risk" could come of dust on sealed products such as toilet paper.
"How can it be contaminated when 99% of products are sealed in plastic," another wondered. Others, meanwhile, thought the retailer could've "done some forward planning" to mitigate the risk of products needing to be discarded.
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