Monday, 23 June 2008

Mouldy Old Dough

Sainsbury's Taste The Difference Loaf - Nice if you like green fur on your toast

Late on Friday evening, after driving from London to Norwich, we went to Sainsbury's to buy the weekend groceries. The Friday rush-hour traffic was terrible, so my shopping radar was impaired - well that's my excuse for picking up a loaf without checking the 'best before' tag.

Saturday morning dawned and my partner announced the bread was no good - it had gone mouldy. Food doesn't last like it should, but this bread was suspiciously furry. Inspecting the tag for the first time I noticed that it was 'best before' an entire day before we actually bought it. Sainsbury's had sold us an out of date loaf - no wonder mould was growing on it.

The loaf cost £1.10. Should we throw it away or take it back? Regular readers will guess which option I favoured. But this presented a problem, we were miles from Sainsbury's and not planning another visit any time soon. I placed the loaf in a bag with the receipt and got on with enjoying the weekend sunshine.

Sunday evening when we were packing up The Chief Executive's partner suggested 'taking it on the chin' and putting the mouldy loaf in the bin. The Chief Executive had other ideas.

Arriving back in Norwich we passed the Sainsbury's filling station adjacent to the store - by now closed. My partner, it should be noted, has developed an uncanny mind-reading ability when it comes to my Adventures in Consumerland.
"You're not taking that bread back are you?" she announced in a dismayed voice.

With £40 worth of Sainsbury's petrol in the tank I didn't imagine a tussle over £1.10. I was wrong. The lad at the till said 'You'll have to take that back to the store". I explained I couldn't, I was heading to London, so he had a simple choice - refund the £1.10 or "I'll report Sainsbury's to Trading Standards for selling food unfit for human consumption". The friendly manager was summoned and £1.10 conjured up from the till. Honour satisfied.

Chief Executive Mouldy Old Food Quiz
So which of these shoppers is you?
a) I'd take a mouldy loaf back sold after its 'best by' date which cost £1.10.
b) I'd take back a free range chicken sold after its use by date which cost £10.10.
c) I'd take back a food hamper sold after its 'best by' date which cost £110.00

I like to think we'd all do (c) I hope we'd all do (b) too - because public food safety is at issue - if a store is selling out of date chicken the manager needs to know.
But would you do (a)?

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