Waitrose has been rated the worst online retailer for fresh groceries, according to new research.

Consumer group Which? has rated the quality of fresh produce delivered by UK supermarkets with Britain biggest grocer Tesco coming out on top.

Tesco is one of the UK’s ‘big six’ supermarkets alongside Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Aldi and Lidl.

Tesco come out on top in Which? research

Which? used a team of 12 undercover shoppers to order more than 1,000 groceries from six major supermarket chains to examine how fresh their food and drink products are.

Each shopper ordered the same 16 perishable grocery items from each of the online supermarkets.

It totalled up the number of full hours remaining from the time of delivery to midnight on the use-by date for each item and calculated an average time per supermarket.

Tesco came top of the pile for freshness, with items lasting an average of 11 days.

Tesco was closely followed by Asda, which had an average of 10.5 days of shelf life on its products on all grocery items, although it did deliver one pack of bacon on its use-by date.

Waitrose issue statement

Waitrose, which launched its own online business last year after ending a partnership with Ocado, was bottom of the table, with items lasting an average of 8.6 days.

The supermarket also delivered two packets of beef that appeared to have gone off, despite being within their use-by dates.

Waitrose said: “We always train our Partners to pick products with the longest best-before date for online deliveries – we’re sorry this fell short of our high standards and are committed to making this better for our customers.

“From time to time we sometimes shorten the date codes on certain fresh produce to ensure it’s at optimum quality – so this may also have been a factor behind the results.”