Vulnerable pensioners were served up “burnt offerings” by a meals on wheels service last week.
Elderly people who rely on the deliveries have been receiving meals which are either “burnt or overcooked and dried up,” according to a relatives.
The problems arose last week after Tayside Contracts, which organises the service on behalf of Dundee City Council and Angus Council, began using a new hub at its Claverhouse site.
Staff at the centre cook meals which are then frozen and delivered to teams across the council areas, who are responsible for ensuring the portions are reheated and distributed.
The new base will also produce school dinners when in-person teaching resumes.
A Tayside Contracts spokeswoman insisted the issue was a one-off, caused by reheating units being switched on too soon, and apologised to families.
One of the relatives said: “The meals being delivered to my mother-in-law have been disgusting, the food she got the other day was all burnt round the edges and the mashed potato was all dry when it arrived.
“You wouldn’t serve that up to your dog, it’s a real shame and it’s not fair. I’ve heard there’s been a lot of complaints so it’s not just us.
“It’s just not good enough, the elderly people deserve better. A lot of them are vulnerable and have Alzheimer’s or dementia.
“Nobody would want their mum and dad or gran and granddad getting treated like that.”
The school meals centralised production unit (CPU) was signed off by Dundee and Angus councils in 2019 in a plan designed to save £600,000 between the two authorities.
Perth and Kinross Council was initially involved but pulled out due to fears over redundancies and food quality.
A petition against the proposals gathered more than 3,000 signatures.
A Tayside Contracts spokeswoman said bosses were “made aware of quality issues with some community meals on Wednesday” and that the matter was “immediately investigated and rectified”.
She added: “The problem was caused by heated units, in which the meals are stored during transportation to service users’ homes, being switched on sooner than they should have been.
“This resulted in the meals becoming dry and appearing over-cooked, especially for those at the end of the delivery runs. We can only apologise to those who received meals of sub-standard quality.
“However, this is the first week of the new service and the feedback we have received regarding the general quality of our meals is extremely encouraging.”