Now Tesco locks up bacon and sausages: Meat is padlocked in fridges ‘to protect stock’ as hard-up Brits struggle through cost of living crisis
- Sign had been stuck on the chilled meat section of a Tesco Express in London
- A message said the measure had been taken to ‘protect stock and availability’
- Other supermarkets have put tags on items including milk, cheese and eggs
It read: ‘To protect stock and availability this door is locked. Please ask a member of staff for assistance.’
Tesco puts security protection on certain higher value items in individual stores, but it is not a universal policy.
The sign had been stuck on the chilled meat section of a Tesco Express on Tower Bridge Road in central London
MailOnline understands the sign has now been removed.
Other supermarkets are also ramping up security, with tags found on items such as milk, cheese and eggs.
Harry Wallop, a consumer journalist, shared a photo from his local Aldi store last week which revealed customers now have to ask staff to pick up steaks for them from the stock room.
‘I’ve seen security tags on high value products in supermarkets – but never this. Grim times,’ he tweeted.
Shoplifting increased by 18 per cent in the year to the end of June compared with the previous 12-month period, according to the Office for National Statistics.
Grocery price inflation also hit a record 14.7 per cent last month, adding an extra £682 to the average annual shopping bill.
Supermarkets across the UK have been cracking down on theft of dairy products as shoplifting rose by 18 per cent over the summer compared with the previous 12-month period (packs of butter with security tags earlier this year)
Shoppers were shocked to discover Co-Op is now keeping washing machine tablets and detergent in security boxes at one of its stores in Manchester city centre
The ONS also revealed households are now paying 90 per cent more for gas, electricity and other fuels.
Online, people have expressed concerns that those stealing items like diary products are doing so because they are not able to cope with the rising cost of living.
However others, including some people claiming to work in stores, said that such items are often flogged by small-time criminals.
One Twitter user said: ‘Nobody ever died from not having butter’.
While another Twitter commentator said: ‘Anybody who thinks shoplifters are desperate people stealing to survive has never been in a rough working-class pub on a Friday night and seen them flogging cheese and packs of bacon.’
Baby milk brands, such as Aptamil and Cow and Gate, have also been placed in security cases at some Co-Op stores (pictured). The tubs of formula range from £10.25 to £18 for 800g
In July shoppers took to social media to share pictures of security tags on £3.99 blocks of Aldi cheddar (left) and £8 Co-op lamb chops in Wolverhampton (right)
Security tags are often used on expensive items or dangerous items in supermarkets such as alcohol, razors and even perfume.
The tags can only be removed once a person has paid and a sales assistant has removed the box. If a person were to take a security tagged item out the shop without paying, a loud alarm would sound.
At Co-Op, washing detergent and baby milk brands, such as Aptamil and Cow and Gate, have also been placed in security cases.
The tubs of formula milk powder range from £10.25 to £18 for 800g.
A Co-Op spokesperson told MailOnline this ‘not a UK-wide policy’ and that the company has ‘ seen no rise in instances of theft.’
Security tags were fitted to four pint bottles of milk in Tesco Extra in Pool last year, although the supermarket subsequently said this was a mistake
In November, Glasgow North Police posted this image and said two people have been arrested on suspicion of ‘numerous thefts of milk and other crimes of dishonesty
It was revealed this week that milk cartons in the Tesco Extra store in the village of Pool in Cornwall were fitted with individual plastic security tags.
CornwallLive reported that the store has suffered a spate of thefts of milk – especially of four-pint containers.
But Tesco denied this was the reason for the tagging, saying it was down to ‘human error’.
A Tesco spokesperson told MailOnline: ‘We do not have a policy to place security tags on fresh milk. A very small amount of milk was incorrectly tagged today in our Redruth Extra store and these tags have now been removed. We’re sorry for any inconvenience caused.’