I write this more in sorrow than anger. I arrived at the Telegraph offices this morning to find on my desk a large cardboard box – always exciting! However the parcel contained, among other things, a cheese and a pie and had been delivered to the office on Saturday; it was, alas, not packaged in a chiller box or with insulation.

Who fancies eating meat and cheese that’s been unrefrigerated for nearly four days? Not me. I felt terrible throwing it all in the bin but it’s all I could do. And it’s hot on the heels of another large perishable package I keep being told is delayed which will be a pile of rotting bones when it does ever get here.

Sending food samples is probably one of the more difficult parts of a PR’s life – if they’re unsolicited the risk is that they’ll be wasted or left unseen; if requested but the courier company lets them down, cue annoyance or disappointment. Perhaps it’s no wonder that I often get press releases about a new delicious-sounding product as if, rather than samples, I’d like some hi-res images (not so delicious). I know I’m very lucky indeed to be offered free food, believe me.

The big grocers are very good at samples on the whole – checking with me when I’ll be at work and sending (by in-house delivery I assume) on the precise day that’s been promised – and well within office hours. Small independents don’t have that luxury and if they’re outside London they’re at the mercy of DPD, Evri or one of those other companies that we all grumble about. (I thought of this today when I read that the ace Farmison, always a great source of great meat and interesting cuts, is in deep trouble.)

So how do you work around this? I’d trust a PR with my home address and request a Saturday delivery so at least there’s a strong chance that someone will be home and with easy access to a fridge. 


What Lisa thinks…

“Kids’ bedtime battle drives parents to drink, study shows” is quite possibly the world’s least surprising topline ever but full marks to Eisberg for promoting alcohol-free wine with percentages for all the stress reasons we drink!

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