Shielding Buxton man given ‘rotten’ food in Government food parcels

A vulnerable Buxton man shielding from coronavirus with serious health problems says he has had rotten food delivered for the last five weeks.

Phill Appleton, 57, suffers with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, high blood pressure and is recovering from a mini-stroke.

As a clinically-vulnerable person Phill is entitled to receive a weekly delivery of food with essentials such as fruit and vegetables, meat, bread, rice and pasta under a Government scheme.

However Phill, who lives alone with no family nearby, told how he had been given rotten potatoes and oranges for the last five weeks.

Phill Appleton has had rotten fruit and vegetables delivered five weeks in a row

The former taxi driver described how after complaining to wholesalers Bidfood - who supply the parcels - he was given a replacement package with the same rotten oranges.

Phill, who had to give up his taxi after suffering a mini-stroke, has had to venture out to supermarkets to get the essentials he needs.

However he added ‘my concern is for people who can’t get out and do anything like I can’.

He said: “I’ve had 2.5-kilogram bags of rotten potatoes - they stink and are all wet because they’ve all been contaminated.

Soft and rotten oranges delivered to Phill Appleton

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“You can’t cook with them because there are all these black bits when you cut into them and the oranges go mouldy within a couple of days.

“It seems to me as if the food is already getting old before it’s been delivered - as though it’s not been stored very well.

“They’re delivering to a lot of vulnerable people and are probably getting paid a lot of money - I’m sure this is not the level of service the Government intended.”

Jim Gouldie, of Bidfood, said: “We’d like to offer our sincerest apologies to Mr Appleton.

“Bidfood takes the quality of its products very seriously and would never knowingly supply products of poor quality.

“Our local team will be increasing the number of checks including at suppliers’ premises, when we receive deliveries from suppliers, at the point of packing and at the point of delivery.

“We’d like to clarify that this is below our usual standard and Bidfood has been running at service levels of 98 per cent since the initiative begun.”

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