Sainsbury's has been slammed on social media after a photo surfaced showing a "Happy Passover" sign placed in the pork section of one of their stores.
Tracey Langford, who lives in South London, noticed on Friday that a branch of Sainsbury's in Wandsworth featured Jewish greetings in the pork section of the fresh meat aisle.
Wandsworth @sainsburys - you’ve got a range of pork goods, shellfish, meat next to milk and all under the banner of Happy Passover. Despite detailed explanation from my close friend yesterday, it’s still there. Please sort this. pic.twitter.com/ubEAHbrS12— Stephanie Sirr (@stephsirr) March 17, 2023
Stephanie Sirr, a friend of Tracey's, posted the photo on Twitter saying: “Sainsbury's, you’ve got a range of pork goods, shellfish, meat next to milk and all under the banner of Happy Passover. Despite detailed explanation from my close friend yesterday, it’s still there. Please sort this.”
Another Twitter user commented: “Happy Passover signs above a display of pork sausages, bacon, and prawns in a London branch of Sainsbury's. Enough cultural sensitivity to have the signs, not enough to hide the shop’s bone-headed ignorance of Jewish and Passover dietary laws which makes the gesture meaningless.”
The instore Passover display above the end of aisle pork section
Tracey told the JC she originally found the placement funny, but was disappointed with the supermarket's response.
She said: "When I pointed it out to staff in the store, they seemed dismissive and that they didn't really get why it could be seen as an issue.
"I had to really dig my heels in to speak to a manager and then was just told to email someone."
Tracey added that a junior manager in the store showed her the guidance they'd been given in head office, which instructed staff to place the happy Passover signage on the "meat plinth", next to the Mother's Day signs.
Store guidance from Sainsbury's telling in store staff to place Happy Passover labels on the 'meat plinth' (Tracey Langford)
But it's not the first time the supermarket chain has attracted controversy for similar mistakes.
In 2014, a shopper found salami in the kosher section of Sainsbury’s Cromwell Road store in Kensington.
In 2018, traces of meat including pork were found in Sainsbury’s vegetarian and vegan supermarket meals, and in 2019 they were again criticised after a pork snack was placed next to a sign celebrating Channukah.
Following the 2018 incident, Kashrut campaigners issued a warning to Jewish communities to ensure that all kosher food is brought from certified or approved kosher distributors.
A Sainsbury’s spokesperson said: “Our Wandsworth store displayed our Passover signs incorrectly. These have now been removed and we apologise for any offense caused. We strive to be an inclusive retailer where people love to work and shop.”