Heinz Egypt director canned for 'rotten tomatoes' video

Heinz Egypt director canned for 'rotten tomatoes' video
2 min read
05 Dec, 2016
Egyptian authorities have arrested the managing director of ketchup manufacturer Heinz after a video went viral allegedly showing workers tossing rotten tomatoes into a processing machine in a Cairo factory.
The video showed factory workers tossing unsorted tomatoes in an outdoor processing machine [Twitter]

The managing director of Heinz Egypt was arrested on Monday after a viral video showed the famous ketchup manufacturer using rotten tomatoes in its factory outside Cairo.

The director - whose name was not disclosed - -was also referred to the prosecution for questioning after security forces seized 63 tonnes of expired products "unfit for human consumption".

The seizure came at one of the company's factories in the Cairo suburb of 6 October City, Egyptian daily al-Youm 7 reported.

The arrest followed the circulation of a video showing factory workers tossing unsorted tomatoes in an outdoor processing machine.

In an investigative report aired on Thursday on the privately-owned al-Mehwar channel, TV presenter Mona Iraqi (known for fabricating a report about Egypt's LGBT community) claimed the footage was shot at a Heinz factory in Egypt.

In response, the condiment market leader released a statement describing the video as "misleading and inaccurate", but did not deny it was at one of its factories.

"The recent story concerning our tomato factory in Egypt was completely misleading and in accurate," the statement read.

"The edited footage shows an unreal picture and neglects the processing stages, hence gives the wrong impression."

The statement added that the factory only uses "healthy tomatoes", confirming the company's commitment to the "safety of consumers".

Heinz Egypt was established in 1991, leading the production of a variety of sauces and products including tomato paste, mayonnaise and vinegar and monopolising 75 percent of the ketchup market in the country.

The video has angered many people, who took to social media to question the quality of tomatoes used and expressed concerns over the level of hygiene maintained in the factories.

Some users also called on Heinz Egypt to release a full video showing the processing of tomatoes at their factories in order to back up their claim that the footage was inaccurate.