We are have commissioned stringent ongoing independent testing on our own-brand products containing minced beef, as agreed with the Food Standards Agency. Today’s results have shown that, so far, no products in the current batch of those being tested have been found to contain horse DNA. Our tests are still ongoing and we continue to work with both the FSA and the British Retail Consortium, and expect to issue further updates in the next few days.
Two funeral workers have been sacked from Co-operative Funeral care for cremating the wrong body.
The mix-up saw staff place the wrong body in a coffin and send it to Birtley Crematorium in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear.
Grieving friends and family, who thought they were saying their final goodbyes to someone they loved, were actually saying farewell to a complete stranger.
Co-operative Funeralcare have apologised to the family, and sacked the two workers involved. A spokesman said:
A serious breach of our strict procedures occurred and following a thorough investigation two members of staff have been dismissed.
Once the issue came to light, we immediately notified the families concerned and apologised for any distress caused and we have liaised closely with the crematoria. We remain in close contact with the families.
Profits at the Co-operative Group have fallen by a third after its food stores suffered amid "fierce" competition from supermarkets and its banking arm was hit by the recession.
The group, which last year admitted it was battling the toughest conditions for 40 years, said its 3,000-strong food store division was also hurt by the wet weather as people drove to supermarkets rather than walk to local shops.
Underlying sales in the division fell 1.2% in the 26 weeks to June 30, whileoperating profits dropped 16% to £119 million.
Its banking division, which has agreed to buy 632 branches from Lloyds, also felt the pain, with operating profits down 67.9% to £36.9 million as it bore the brunt of the UK's double-dip recession.
With its two biggest divisions suffering, overall group profits fell 34% to £174 million.
A spokesperson for The Co-operative Group said: “Demand for fuel has remained high today with a small number of forecourts running out of fuel.
"However, fuel deliveries are running at a higher level to meet the increased demand, and, now that the possibility of a strike over Easter has been averted, we would expect normal purchasing patterns to return.”