Pret A Manger Just Shut Down This Gross Accusation, So Have No Fear

pret a manger sandwich

Pret a Manger is having a rough go of it this week. After acknowledging that labelling issues have led to two customer deaths in the past two years, another gross accusation has been made against the sandwich chain. In an October 8th Daily Mail investigative report, Pret’s “fresh” baguettes may actually be over a year old. It’s also The Daily Mail, so take that info with a grain of salt.

According to The Daily Mail, Pret a Manger’s baguettes are not baked entirely in-house each morning, as their website claims. The baguettes are reportedly mass produced in a Bridor factory where they’re partially baked and then frozen. The frozen baguettes then make their way to Pret stores with “best before” labels boasting a 12-month freezer shelf life.

The frozen baguettes are supposedly baked the rest of the way through at Pret locations before they’re served to customers.

A Pret a Manger manager tried to shut down the accusation via Delish. “Our baked baguettes have a shelf life of one day in our shops,” the manager said. “Our baguettes are baked in our shops and sold on the same day. Any unsold baguettes, along with salads and sandwiches, are given to homeless shelters at the end of each day.”

Notably, this statement does not explicitly rule out the possibility that the baguettes are shipped to the stores frozen and then baked, nor does it outline when the baguettes are physically made.

Furthermore, The Daily Mail reported that earlier this year the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) told Pret to stop labelling foods as “natural,” due to the fact that their breads contain additives. However, the ASA allowed Pret to label their bread as “freshly baked.” The ASA assumed, “consumers were unlikely to interpret ‘baked in store’ to mean only products that were made from scratch using basic raw materials such as flour and butter.”

Pret continued to cite the ASA ruling to The Daily Mail stating, “We considered that consumers were likely to interpret it to include products which were cooked from frozen raw dough or from part-baked dough.”

If it’s true that bread arrives to stores frozen, customer health isn’t at risk. Chances are the bread isn’t actually hanging around in the freezer for an entire year. The issue has more to do with trust — Pret’s bread may not be as fresh as it claims and that’s disappointing.

Although this new accusation is completely separate from the two allergy-related Pret a Manger deaths, the frozen baguette scandal is yet another dark mark on Pret’s formerly glistening name.

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