Here’s a story with a sweet ending. Mahendra Oza, who trades in one of London’s trendiest districts, Islington, found himself caught up in the food supply chain when a customer brought back a Snickers bar because it had turned a bit white. The date was fine: November 19, 2005. He refunded the customer and in fact offered him a Mars bar to keep him happy. Then he rang Masterfoods, which asked for the customer’s name and address (which he didn’t have) and told him to return the chocs to the cash and carry.

You know what’s coming next: cash and carries only take back unopened outers. So he’s stuck with the rest not knowing whether they are all right or all white.

I said next time tell the customer to contact Masterfoods direct because they will get more out of it. In fact, I tested the water. I didn’t come clean with customer services (life is sometimes just too short to go through the press office rigmorole). I just pretended I was a customer interested to know if the rather pale Snickers bar I had was okay. I didn’t even complain. I got a nice letter back full of the technical causes of ‘heat bloom’ which occurs when any chocolate is exposed to temperatures above 27C and is then slowly cooled. The chocolate is in no way harmful but Masterfoods acknowledges that it puts some people off.

In fact, that same week I had lunch with the editor and deputy ed of this very magazine at the end of which we were given a wrapped chocolate each with the coffee. The editor’s had turned quite white, and she didn’t fancy it a bit.

Mine was only a trifle white and tasted fine. The dep ed’s was perfect and he gallantly offered it to the ed. The chocs probably all came in the same batch. But, on top of the technical explanation, Masterfoods also sent me a £3 voucher to buy more choc bars. I have posted it to Mahendra and told him to photocopy it before he spends it so he can show it to any other customers who return with meltdown.