Ambient sausage rolls

Musical sausage rolls liven up a plain lunch box

Bemused members of the public have been asking us for a plain English translation for the ‘ambient sausage rolls’  sold by The Co-operative supermarket.

Chrissie Maher, OBE and founder of Plain English Campaign said, ‘These sausage rolls have escaped from the technical production lines of the food industry to bring confusion and ruin the ‘ambience’ of our lunch breaks.’

Ambient is a term that basically means “surrounding”, so that ambient temperature is the surrounding temperature. The term ‘ambient music’ seems to have grown from an original meaning similar to ‘background’ (or surrounding!) music. In the food industry, it is a category of food that can be stored at room (or the surrounding) temperature, as opposed to frozen or chilled.

Comment from The Co-operative

A spokesperson from The Co-operative says, “ The use of the word 'ambient' on the label of this product was an administrative error - labels for in-store bakery items are printed in store and the word 'ambient' was incorrectly printed on the label.  This is now being rectified, but thank you for drawing this to our attention and apologies for any confusion this may have caused."

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