In a recent employment tribunal ruling, a former Greggs manager, Rosario Lino, emerged victorious in her claim for unfair dismissal after being sacked for crossing out food use-by dates with a black marker pen.

However, despite winning the claim, she was denied any compensation by the tribunal due to concerns over public safety.

The case stemmed from a surprise inspection at the Greggs branch in Braywick, Maidenhead, where tuna crunch and chicken mayo containers were discovered with their expiry dates obscured.

Lino defended her actions, asserting that she marked the items to signal to staff that they needed to be discarded.

However, her employers alleged that she tampered with the dates to manipulate waste figures and avoid disposing of the food, thus presenting a misleading picture of the bakery’s performance. Consequently, Lino was dismissed from her position.

Not in line with Greggs’ procedures

During the tribunal, it was revealed that marking out-of-date food with a black marker was not in line with Greggs’ procedures, and Lino’s explanation for her actions was deemed lacking in credibility. The tribunal also highlighted the safety risk posed by using products past their expiry dates, both to the company and its customers.

Despite ruling in favour of Lino regarding flaws in the disciplinary process, the tribunal found her actions culpable and contributory to her dismissal. As a result, she was denied any compensatory award.

Also, Lino’s claims of race discrimination and harassment were not upheld by the tribunal.

The case serves as a reminder of the importance of adhering to food safety protocols and the potential consequences of actions that compromise public health. While Lino may have succeeded in challenging her dismissal, the tribunal’s decision underscores the seriousness of disregarding established procedures in industries where safety and hygiene are paramount.





Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.