Monday, September 20th | 14 Tishri 5782

August 18, 2014 6:27 pm

British Supermarket Sainsbury’s Apologizes for Decision to Remove Kosher Food

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The empty kosher section at Sainsbury's. Photo: Colin J. Appleby. The British supermarket chain Sainsbury’s apologized Monday for its decision over the weekend to remove kosher food from the shelves of the chain’s London branch.

A manager at the store’s Holborn branch in central London initially made the decision out of fear of looting and violence by anti-Israel protesters calling for a boycott of Israeli goods. But not all of the kosher foods sold at the store were made in Israel, and the decision garnered heavy social media backlash.

Former Tory MP Louise Mench tweeted: “Dear @Sainsburys kosher is JEWISH food. Israel is a COUNTRY. How DARE YOU equate Jews’ food to ISRAEL, how dare you #EverydayAntisemitism.” Some witnesses also said that a staff member at the store said, “We support Gaza.”

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In its apology, the chain denied that the decision was made as a form of boycotting Jewish or Israeli food.

“We would like to apologize for any inconvenience or offense caused,” the company said on its website. “The decision was taken in one store only to move these chilled products to cold storage elsewhere in that store for a short period on Saturday as a precautionary measure during a demonstration close by.”

The company added that “as a non-political organization, Sainsbury’s would never take such a decision on grounds other than ensuring the quality or safety of our products.”

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