A British supermarket chain has insisted it did not call police on a trio of dumpster-divers who face criminal charges after allegedly taking discarded food from a trash bin.

Frozen-food retailer Iceland said Wednesday that it "did not instigate the prosecution" of Paul May, Jason Chan and William James.

The Guardian newspaper reported that the trio took tomatoes, mushrooms, cheese and cakes worth 33 pounds ($55) from behind a London branch of Iceland. The prosecution has drawn widespread criticism.

Iceland said it was "trying to find out from the Crown Prosecution Service why they believe that it is in the public interest to pursue a case against these three individuals."

Prosecutors confirmed that the trio face charges under the 1824 Vagrancy Act and will appear in court on Monday.