A baffled shopper buying a pot of fruit at Tesco was asked for ID – because it could ferment and turn into ALCOHOL.
Stunned Kate Lancaster, 37, was using the self service checkout to purchase a #1 tub of water melon and grapes.
But the till flashed up as ‘requiring ID’ and she was told they could only sell a packet of fruit to someone over-18 – amid fears it could get their customers drunk.
Kate sent an email and was told a new policy meant “fruit will be age verified in case natural fermentation takes place”.
Kate, from Plymouth, Devon, said: “When I got the response from Tesco I told my friend at work and we fell about laughing – it’s just incredulous. You couldn’t make it up.”
Kate bought the fruit from her local shop and the self service register flagged the item up as ‘security tagged’.
A member of staff processed the purchase but Kate was so intrigued when she got home she sent an email to Tesco asking why it needed clearance.
The Plymouth University library worker also wanted to complain of bad customer service as staff were too busy chatting to help her.
In her email to Tesco, Kate wrote: “I used your self service tills, and there was a problem with the melon which came up as security tagged.
“The woman who was meant to be looking after the tills was stood at the end, chatting with her friend. Eventually I caught her eye and she walked over.
“She didn’t smile or say hello, but just reached over to scan her card. I made a joke about the melon being security tagged and she actively blanked me, made no response whatsoever other than to continue talking to her friend over my head.”
The Tesco employee who replied to Kate apologised and promised to give staff at the store additional customer service training.
In the e-mail: “Don’t quote me on this but I have heard a rumour that all fruit will be age verified ongoing in case natural fermentation takes place.”
Kate said the idea was “crazy” and goes against policies to encourage children to eat more fruit and veg.
She said: “They would be doing the exact opposite to what is recommended, they promote healthy eating in kids.
“Me and my friend chatted about it at work and I really wanted to get a response on it because it’s crazy.”
Kate posted on Tesco’s Facebook page on Monday asking them to clarify the policy and she was eventually told it had been a mistake.
“I put it on Facebook and my friends picked up on it and said it was insane. It just seemed like such a bizarre reason,” she added.
A Tesco employee wrote: “I’m really sorry that you received this email and please let me assure you that we will not be asking for ID for fruit in our stores.”