money & Banking

Wed, 10 Apr, 2019Joanita Wibowo

Muffin Break manager admits to retrieving expired food out of a garbage bin

Muffin Break manager admits to retrieving expired food out of a garbage bin

A Brisbane Muffin Break manager has admitted to taking expired ham out of a garbage bin after employees claimed she warned them against wasting expensive food products.

The Westfield Chermside Muffin Break store manager has found herself at the centre of the growing scandal after a staff member revealed her text message to the media.

The message, which was sent to the workers, read: “We have so many conversations about these expired products … the price of shaved ham are $10.25 ... I took them out from the bin still trying to use it, but should I always doing this? is it right thing to do? Of coarse [sic] not!

“There are lots of stuff has been wasted like this way, However this shop really can’t afford this waste anymore.”

In the same text message, the store manager also suggested that employees who failed to comply to her rules would be given fewer work hours. “I have received few good resumes ... if new girls are doing better than you, they are going to take over your shifts,” the message read.

“It felt so unfair to us all,” an employee told the Courier Mail. “People tend to follow [the manager]’s order quite intensely because she’s very bossy and everything has to happen as she says.

“I don’t want anyone to lose their job, but I’d rather someone lose their job and customers be safe than a customer gets ill.”

The manager told 9News that she never intended to serve the disposed ham to customers. “Because I need to take a picture. That’s the reason,” she said.

A spokesperson for Muffin Break’s parent company FoodCo said an investigation had been launched into the Chermside store case.

“Muffin Break is committed to the highest standards of food safety and workplace health and safety, and we do not condone these alleged practices.

“We are still investigating the matter, however our initial findings indicate that the ham was not used in any products for sale. We will continue our investigations and take appropriate actions based on the final findings.”

In February, the food franchise company also drew strong criticisms after its general manager complained that young people were no longer willing to work for free to gain experience.

“There’s just nobody walking in my door asking for an internship, work experience or unpaid work, nobody,” Natalie Brennan told

“I’m generalising, but it definitely feels like this generation of 20-somethings has to be rewarded even if it’s the most mundane, boring thing, they want to be rewarded for doing their job constantly.”

Brennan issued an apology for her statement following a widespread backlash around the world. “The recent article does not reflect my values or those of Foodco,” she said in a statement.

“I don’t expect anyone to work unpaid and Foodco Group policy is, and has always been, that all employees including interns – employed either directly or through our brands – are paid according to relevant awards.

“The unpaid work I referred to was supervised programs run through schools, TAFEs or universities, which provide valuable gained experience to people before they enter the workforce full-time. I want to apologise for any misunderstanding or upset caused by my comments.”