Asda chicken licker investigated after secret footage handed to policeValerie Elliott
Police are investigating an undercover film that shows a supermarket worker licking fresh chickens before putting them back on sale at an Asda store.
The mobile phone footage also shows the man wreaking havoc in the aisles during his night shifts, urinating in a bin in the gentlemen’s lavatory, playing cricket with food items, smashing eggs and setting off fire extinguishers.
The man who called himself Adeel Ayub is dressed in Asda’s distinctive green uniform, as he laughs and gloats about his behaviour at the firm’s Fulwood store in Preston, Lancashire. This store was picked by Asda bosses to feature in a new TV advertising campaign which was filmed in May.
The worker is also observed wrecking furniture in a staff room, slashing the coats of colleagues and filming firefighters responding to a false alarm.
Mr Ayub, who worked for the company from 2005 to last year, is also spotted returning to the store this year wearing a hoodie and stamping his feet on fresh ready-to-cook chickens in the chiller unit.
He also rips open the plastic wrapping around one of the chickens, pokes his fingers in the flesh and licks the breast before returning the bird to the shelf.
His antics were uncovered after the film was left anonymously in a brown envelope at a local newspaper. Asda was handed a copy and immediately called in police.
Management at the store had known there was a problem with vandalism but had not been able to identify the culprit.
Asda said yesterday: “We are absolutely disgusted and appalled by the behaviour of this man. We knew there was a problem and we now have evidence of criminal damage which our security staff and lawyers are discussing with police.”
Mr Ayub even gives a running commentary of his actions on the film which he refers to as a “top-secret video” that is “never going to get released”.
He is also seen breaking trophies awarded to the store, hurling boxes of eggs in a warehouse and playing football with boxes of food.
After releasing a fire extinguisher, the fire brigade arrived on the scene and he is heard to boast: “I think this baby is my last video because if I get caught I’ll probably get sacked.”
Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service, confirmed that it had received two false alarm calls to the store last year. It condemned the footage.
A spokesman said: “We deplore this behaviour. Hoax calls take up firefighters time and setting off an alarm system takes crews away from genuine emergencies. It’s a criminal activity.”
Asda admitted there were no CCTV cameras in the area of the store where the film was taken but the spokeswoman said the issue of internal security cameras in all stores was under review.
The supermarket chain, owned by Walmart, confirmed that the man had been employed on a permanent contract from August 2005 to April 2007 and had then become a seasonal worker until September 2008. It appealed for anyone with any further information about the incidents to contact Asda headquarters in Leeds.
Four years ago the Bernard Matthews turkey firm was embarrassed by undercover footage which showed the cruelty of two workers who used live birds as baseballs at a factory in Haveringland, Norfolk.
Animal welfare campaigners secretly filmed them hitting birds with a pole. Both admitted ill-treatment and were each sentenced to carry out 200 hours of community service.