Gardener, 38, asked for ID to buy plant food

July 22, 2010 | by | 0 Comments

A gardener was stunned when a supermarket cashier ordered him to produce proof of age – to buy PLANT FOOD.

Green-fingered Rob Hannaford, 38, said he was ”speechless” when asked for ID at his local Sainsbury’s store.

The local councillor had visited the supermarket to buy a bottle of Baby Bio to feed the plants at his home in Exeter, Devon.

But the product was flagged up as ‘age restricted’ at the check-out and he was quizzed by TWO members of staff.

They demanded to see some ID before he was allowed to purchase the plant food and leave the store.

Rob, who works for Exeter City Council, slammed the supermarket for ”leaving common sense behind”.

He said: ”This seems crazy to me, as Baby Bio is a world famous house plant food that consists primarily of seaweed extract.

”So how can it be deemed to be a dangerous or restricted substance? What do they think people are going to do with it?

”My gran has been using it on her geraniums since it first came out and she’s now in her mid 90s.

”What’s next? Spot-checking people when they are buying potatoes in case they might be making vodka?

”Yet again it seems as if the health and safety brigade is going over the top and leaving common sense behind.”

A Sainsbury’s spokesman apologised to Rob and said a mistake had been made in questioning his age.

He said: ”We flag up all age-restricted items centrally, although sometimes we make mistakes.

”We would like to apologise to this customer for the inconvenience, and we hope that he will continue to shop with us in the future.”

A spokesman for Devon County Council trading standards suggested that the item could have been flagged restricted because of its potentially toxic content.

He said: ”There is a list of age-restricted items which retailers must adhere to – like fireworks, knives, petrol and spray paints. It must have been assumed that Baby Bio falls into a restricted category.”

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