Hot on the heels of the Ribenagate story that I’ve run in the past couple of issues (very ‘ill’ customer wanting thousands in compensation) comes another try-on, or is it just a grudge?

A semi-regular customer bought a small box of Weetabix from Harpal Rai’s store in Birmingham. It was pricemarked at £1. “It was fantastic value - it’s now about £1.50,” says Harpal.

Except the customer didn’t think so. He came back claiming that his child had become sick and the Weetabix was three months past its best before. Harpal offered apologies, money back and a free replacement. But the customer left, saying he was going to report it (so, so far, I can’t label the story ‘Weetabucks’). Perhaps he just wants to sully the store’s reputation perhaps the child was ill. Kids get sick for all sorts of reasons. Maybe the milk was off. It was highly unlikely that the cereal was to blame.

Just have a look on the internet: all sorts of stories, ranging from the guy who ate ages-old cereals with no ill effect, to Defra itself which says the product will still be okay.

Harpal adds: “There are three of us in this family and we frequently use up biscuits and bread past their best-before dates. None of us gets sick.”

It’s quite clear that this box just slipped through the net since Harpal does practice due diligence, checking chiller temperatures regularly and keeping records to prove it. I rather doubt that he will get a serious visit from environmental health, although they do have to respond to consumer complaints.

In fact, he has the right attitude as he adds: “In a way it’s done us a favour as I have upped our due diligence even more.”