Tis time loyal readers for another Prats of The Week Award.
This week, as many of you may have guessed, it goes to Sainsbury's (again!).
Well my old muckers, it seems that they had a wee bit of a bust up with one of their pregnant customers (Janet Lehain) over the issue of cheese.
Mrs Lehain asked for some Canadian Cheddar while she was shopping at Sainsbury's Clapham.
However, Sainsbury's is a fully paid up supporter of the Nanny state. As such the member of staff serving her refused to sell it to her.
Seemingly, according to the member of staff, it was made from unpasteurised milk and constitutes a danger to pregnant women.
Factoid: it transpires that pregnant women are advised to avoid eating ripened soft cheeses of the Brie, Camembert and blue-veined types, whether pasteurised or unpasteurised. Hard cheeses such as Cheddar can be safely eaten during pregnancy.
Mrs Lehain, unlike some people, was not prepared to take this lying down and said that she was aware of the current medical advice and wanted to buy the cheese.
Mrs Lehain, finally having extricated the cheese from the jobsworth, wrote a letter of complaint:
"What followed was the most patronising encounter I have had the misfortune of experiencing in a long time and made worse by the fact it was entirely unexpected given the seemingly simple task.
The member of staff told me how lucky my generation of pregnant women are to have such information available to them because this was not the case 'in her day'.
I could only respond by saying that I thought pregnant women in the past were probably a whole lot less stressed and guilt-ridden as a result.
I asked if I could have the cheese if I promised not to eat any of it. How ridiculous that I had to openly lie in order to buy a piece of cheese!
Even if I were ignorant of the risks associated with this period in a woman's life it is not the job of a supermarket to tell people what they should or not be eating.
Indeed if I am missing something, and the Government in its wisdom has made supermarkets guardians of public health without me noticing, then I should like to leave the country now."
Sainsbury's ended up making some grudging apology. However, it seems that they still believe that their policy of delivering unwanted "health advice" is correct.
I wonder if they do the same for pregnant women who buy booze and fags?
Quite why supermarkets now choose to act as Nanny's lickspittles is beyond me. I assume that they feel that they will get some favour in return.
Sainsbury's, well deserving Prats of The Week!
Here is Justin King's email (CEO of Sainsbury's), if you want to tell him what you think: firstname.lastname@example.org
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