Burnt offering leaves a sour taste for shopper

A SHOPPER says she had her fingers burnt after picking up an apparently tasty special offer in a Morpeth supermarket – only to find it was completely inedible.

Beryl Ballantyne, from Longframlington realised she had bitten off more than she or husband Tommy could chew when she opened the bag of spare ribs they had bought from the hot counter at the town’s Morrisons store last Wednesday.

The food, she says, was not on display, having already been wrapped in brown paper and priced.

But instead of a succulent rack of pork waiting inside the wrapper, she discovered what she described as “lumps of blackened charcoal”.

“We were in Morrisons and spotted the bags of ribs on offer on top of the hot deli counter,” said Mrs Ballantyne. “They were selling at half-price, so we picked one up.

“It was only when we got home and opened the bag that we found this waiting for us. I phoned the store and asked to speak to the manager, but was told that he was not on duty, so I spoke to a female member of staff who was deputising for him.

“She basically disputed everything we said, saying that we couldn’t have bought them from the top of the counter because that was against their rules.”

Mrs Ballantyne and her husband were so annoyed by the response that they got back in their car and returned to the store, with the offending ribs.

But she said: “We still got no joy. We were told the same old story, so we left with the ribs as evidence. It wasn’t about the money, it was the fact that the supermarket thinks it’s acceptable to sell something like this in the first place.

“Words can’t describe how angry I am.”

A Morrisons spokesperson said: “The quality of all the products that we sell is of paramount importance to us and it is disappointing that on this occasion there has been a lapse in our usual high standards. We would like to apologise to Mrs Ballantyne for the inconvenience and any distress caused as a result of this incident.”