Jamie Oliver says he still gets called an 'a******e' over turkey twizzler ban

·Contributor
·2-min read
Jamie Oliver was the face of the campaign which led to turkey twizzlers being removed from school lunch menus. (Jo Hale/Redferns)
Jamie Oliver was the face of the campaign which led to turkey twizzlers being removed from school lunch menus. (Jo Hale/Redferns)

Jamie Oliver says he still gets shouted at for his campaign to ban turkey twizzlers from school dinners — more than a decade after they were taken off the menu.

Oliver launched the 'Feed Me Better' campaign in 2005, which sought to improve the food provided in school dinners and discourage junk food on menus and in lunchboxes — including the infamous twizzlers.

Read more: Jamie Oliver pizza topping divides GMB viewers

The 46-year-old chef and campaigner told the 12 Questions podcast that he received abuse on a recent visit to the zoo, directed at his distaste for the notorious turkey snack.

He said: "I was in the zoo the other day when they opened up again with my kids and you know, two metres away, they go 'that’s Jamie Oliver over there' and the girl goes: 'Yeah, I don’t like him, he’s a f***ing a******e'.

"And my kids are right next to me and hearing it as well, it’s a metre and a half away."

Watch: Jamie Oliver tracks down stolen tractor

Oliver said the confrontation continued, with reference to the revamped incarnation of turkey twizzlers, which Bernard Matthews launched last year.

The new version of the snack contains fewer calories and fewer saturated fats and, unsurprisingly, fans of the original recipe aren't particularly pleased.

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Oliver said: "As I walk away, she goes to me 'have you tried those new turkey twizzlers?” and I went 'no, I haven’t,' and she goes: 'Well, they’re horrible!'

"I said: 'You probably wouldn’t like the original ones then.' And she goes: 'No I did, and you took them, you stole them away from me.'"

Jamie Oliver revealed he was constantly spat at during his school dinners campaign in 2005. (Andy Butterton/PA Images/Getty Images)
Jamie Oliver revealed he was constantly spat at during his school dinners campaign in 2005. (Andy Butterton/PA Images/Getty Images)

While he still gets stick now, the abuse isn't nearly as bad as it was at the peak of the campaign, Oliver revealed.

"When I was walking around schools as a 28-year-old, I was getting so much abuse," he said.

"I had so much DNA on my back every day when I got home. It was proper filth."

Read more: Oliver tracks down his own stolen tractor

Oliver's work around schools was depicted in the Channel 4 series Jamie's School Dinners, in which he sought to improve food standards at Kidbrooke School in Greenwich.

Though the campaign made Oliver a controversial figure, he was awarded an honorary fellowship by the Royal College of General Practitioners in 2013 as recognition for his work in tackling the issue of childhood obesity.

Watch: Jamie Oliver reacts to government plan for tackling childhood obesity

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