Egg on Oliver's face as restaurant owned by chef uses battery chickens

Jamie Oliver might have declared that we should only eat free-range poultry, but now a flagship restaurant owned by the television chef and animal rights campaigner has been found to be serving eggs from battery-farmed chickens.

Staff at the Cornwall branch of Oliver's Fifteen chain bought 360 eggs from battery-farmed chickens when a regular supplier was unable to meet demand. Last Friday a party of twelve farmers and battery egg producers were dining at the beachside restaurant when one of them discovered the eggs on a tour of the restaurant.

The news is a major embarrassment for Oliver, whose one-off programe Jamie's Fowl Dinners, which highlights the industrial methods used in chicken farming, was on air at the time. He immediately said that "heads would roll".

"I am speechless. We have cast-iron rules on what any chef can and cannot buy in all Fifteens," he said. "I can't stop thinking it seems a coincidence this one-off has happened the week my programme airs. I've never been so disappointed. Heads will roll."

Oliver, 32, and fellow chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall have been running a television campaign to highlight the suffering of animals in Britain's poultry industry.

He has previously boasted that his restaurants only source produce from farmers who uphold the highest ethical standards. The website of Fifteen Cornwall says its eggs come from Clarence Court in nearby Liskeard, where animals are "allowed to roam freely and given a totally natural diet".

Dave Meneer, the restaurant's chief executive said yesterday the incident was a simple "cock-up". "We ran out of eggs at the beginning of the new year and somebody ordered some but got the wrong type," he said. "We had a party in while Jamie's show was going on and they were farmers and battery egg farmers. They saw two eggs in a tray, remarked they were battery eggs and a young chef gave them one. We were pretty open. It was a mistake."

He said he had "read the riot act" to staff at the restaurant and that Oliver was "clearly pissed off" about the indiscretion. But he resisted Oliver's assertion that "heads will roll".

The restaurant, in Watergate Bay, Newquay, has served more than 120,000 customers since May 2006. It employs 16 trainee chefs from disadvantaged backgrounds and has another 19 at college waiting to take up jobs. Three other Fifteen restaurants – in London, Amsterdam and Melbourne – also employ young chefs from poor backgrounds and a Fifteen Foundation has been launched to raise the £500,000 needed to keep Oliver's apprenticeship scheme running.

Oliver, who two years ago began a hugely popular campaign for healthier food in schools, has reinvented himself as an animal welfare campaigner.

In Jamie's Fowl Dinners, he electrocuted a chicken in front of a live studio audience and showed how young male chicks judged superfluous to the industry are suffocated to death.

He wrote to more than 150,000 Sainsbury's staff last week to reaffirm his commitment to the retailer, which pays him £1.2m a year. A spokeswoman for Sainsbury said yesterday that the incident "was clearly a one-off".

Suggested Topics
News
people
News
people And here is why...
News
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
Life and Style
Laid bare: the Good2Go app ensures people have a chance to make their intentions clear about having sex
techCould Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Burr remains the baker to beat on the Great British Bake Off
tvRichard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
News
i100
Sport
footballArsenal 4 Galatasaray 1: Wenger celebrates 18th anniversary in style
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon has added a cautionary warning to Tom and Jerry cartoons on its streaming service
tv
News
people
News
The village was originally named Llansanffraid-ym-Mechain after the Celtic female Saint Brigit, but the name was changed 150 years ago to Llansantffraid – a decision which suggests the incorrect gender of the saint
newsWelsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Arts and Entertainment
Kristen Scott Thomas in Electra at the Old Vic
theatreReview: Kristin Scott Thomas is magnificent in a five-star performance of ‘Electra’
News
Destructive discourse: Jewish boys look at anti-Semitic graffiti sprayed on to the walls of the synagogue in March 2006, near Tel Aviv
peopleAt the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity
Life and Style
Couples who boast about their relationship have been condemned as the most annoying Facebook users
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Hayley Williams performs with Paramore in New York
musicParamore singer says 'Steal Your Girl' is itself stolen from a New Found Glory hit
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Service Charge Accountant

    30,000 to 35,000 per annum: Accountancy Action: We are currently recruiting on...

    Management Accountant

    28,000 to 32,000 per annum: Accountancy Action: Our client, a hospitality busi...

    Food and Beverage Cost Controller

    18,000 to 20,000 per annum: Accountancy Action: Our fantastic leisure client i...

    Marketing Analyst / Marketing Executive

    £20 - 24k: Guru Careers: A Marketing Analyst / Marketing Executive is needed t...

    Day In a Page

    Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

    Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

    A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
    Time to stop running: At the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity

    Time to stop running

    At the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity
    Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

    Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

    The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
    An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

    An app for the amorous

    Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
    Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

    Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

    Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
    Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

    Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

    After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
    She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

    She's having a laugh

    Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
    Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

    Let there be light

    Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
    Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

    Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

    Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
    Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

    A look to the future

    It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
    The 10 best bedspreads

    The 10 best bedspreads

    Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
    Arsenal vs Galatasaray: Five things we learnt from the Emirates

    Arsenal vs Galatasaray

    Five things we learnt from the Gunners' Champions League victory at the Emirates
    Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

    Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

    This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
    Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

    The children orphaned by Ebola...

    ... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
    Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

    Are censors pandering to homophobia?

    US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence