Staying sharp

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I’ve been honing my knowledge on razor blades following a query from Jayesh Patel (Classic News, Northampton). When he read in our news pages that a pharmacy had been fined £10K+ for selling razor blades to a minor (under 18), he wondered where he stood on selling twin-blade refills and disposable razors.

The story did say at the end that the prohibition didn’t apply to replacement cartridges for safety razors, but I also looked up the Criminal Justice Act 1988 which says the rule doesn’t apply where less than 2mm of the blade is exposed (such as a Bic disposable). I asked razor giant Gillette for a comment or guidelines on what to do if a 16-year-old comes in to buy a safety razor, but they said any comment would be better coming from a trade body. So I asked the Association of Convenience Stores, who sent the query to Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading Standards.

Joanne Mahoney, trading standards officer, confirmed the 2mm rule and added: “The important thing to remember is that some 16-year-olds (and younger boys) will need to shave, and so they should be able to purchase razor blades, which is why safety razor blades have been excluded from these requirements.”

She adds: “The crucial thing would be to ensure staff know what sales are legal to under-18s and which are restricted. This should be covered by training, and updated when new products come in, unless restricted items are flagged up by epos.”

Good to see a piece of red tape where they actually thought it through and came up with something sensible.

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