The Bakery Shop founder Sameh El Sadat releases a statement explaining what went wrong...
Last week a tainted bad batch of TBS's new Croissant Om Ali went out leaving many customers in ill health. Founder Sameh El-Sadat has released the following statement today revealing the details of what happened and what they are doing to resolve the issue. The statement is as follows:
"Dear TBS customers, thank you for your patience on waiting to get those results on the tbs croissant om ali poisoning case, we were trying to do our best to get this as transparent and as accurate as possible. Since we issued our first statement, the whole 500+ respected TBS team members have worked day and night over the past 5 days to: (1) follow up on sick customers to recover, (2) share accurate investigation results and (3) personally call customers to make sure they are well, apologize and offer them to cover their medical expenses, as a gesture to our loyal customers nothing more. And as we started writing this yesterday, Maadi shop got closed down, and we just heard the news that the Minister of Health approved closing down all our TBS shops and factory. But as promised, below are our key findings on this matter for the record:
• What went wrong?!
Some of the Om Ali batch that was consumed by our customers last Sunday and Monday had an under baking problem, 40-50 fokhar pots. The eggs inside it was not fully cooked. Those pots were not monitored properly through our check points, and were transferred in cold freezers and then left room temp at customers end or our shop, this causes the eggs to be contaminated. Accordingly when eaten, customers get high fever, diarea, cramps and vomiting. We spoke to patients that based on doctors/reports said Salmonela, E-colai, typhosis (not typhoid) from some stool and blood tests, but we don’t have a unanimous stand on what it is. The estimation of the number of affected pots is based on the following: the number of OM ALI complaints we got through our call centre (37 complaints – Wasla Call Centre), the number of OM ALI emails we received on our Omalifirstname.lastname@example.org (22 emails), and the friends/family calls and text messages that we have been receiving over the past few days.
We introduced the Om Ali on June 28th and the demand on it was unprecedented! We sold almost 5-6 times what we expected to sell every day. A batch of less than 1% of our total volume sold got this under-baked problem, and we apologize for this and promise it won’t happen again.
• Our efforts over past 5 days to take responsibility for it?
Last Monday, and once we received 2-3 similar complaints, we immediately stopped the OM Ali as not to allow any further cases cause we didn’t know what was wrong. We teamed up Tabibi 24/7 to help us with the situation and they thankfully did a responsible job alongside of us. Tabibi 24/7 received 63 calls from patients that are complaining from OM ALI. 24 house visits were done (needed a check-up) 37 were handled over the phone (mild cases), 3 patients went to hospitals as a precaution because they were worried. All Tabibi 24/7 patients are almost recovered now el hamd lelah, except for very few with diarrhea which might take some time until it gradually fades away. All hospital cases have been personally visited by us. Most, if not all, Tabibi 24/7 hospital cases were discharged and are all well now. Very few other cases (2-3 in hospitals), I am personally following up on are still in hospitals and we will make sure they recover with whatever means in sha alah.
Some other cases contacted us as founders directly and we handled it similarly, and others were very frustrated and we might not know about them until today. Please let us know and we will continue doing this until everyone feels that we have given him/her back what she has been giving us over past few years as loyalty to the TBS brand.
• How are we going to ensure it never happens again?
We are relentlessly working on it because this is an ongoing process that started for us on Monday July 6th when this incident happened. This is the promise and the challenge we are facing right now, and all our quality control efforts from this day on will be directed towards having a more strict monitoring system that does not allow such a reoccur. We worked with our third party independent company (SGS) to ensure we are well in this regards. We can’t promise you anything in specific right now, other than that it will not be repeated again. We are seriously thinking of ways to ensure that this incident becomes a new cultural change in our company to help us raise the bar further to our people and to our brand, those are our two main assets that we care about, after our CUSTOMER.
Finally, again apologies to our frustrated customers, we hope you and your family/friends are better now. And to our supportive customers, thank you for your loyalty over past 7 years, we will do our very best to serve you better isa!"