Suspect spoons cause alarm as shopper’s age queried

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A 28-YEAR-OLD woman from Horsham was asked for proof of age to buy spoons at a supermarket because she was told they could be used to take drugs.

Elinor Zuke, who works at The Grocer magazine in Broadfield, went to a Sainsbury’s in West Green, Crawley, to buy the spoons after her office ran out.

But she was stunned when told they were age-restricted due to potential drugs misuse.

Heroin addicts use spoons to heat up the drug and purify it prior to injection.

Elinor said: “I put the spoons through the self-service scanner but the age verification alert came up.

“When the man came to wave it through he said it was because they could be used for drug paraphernalia.

“We were interested to see if it’s the policy of the supermarket to ask for identification for spoons, but Sainsbury’s said it was a mistake.

“It was quite a surprise because I wondered how you would even intervene if someone was buying spoons for drug use?

“Thankfully I did get the spoons in the end, so it had a happy ending.”

Sainsbury’s apologised for the blunder, saying the computer had incorrectly recognised the packet as a knife.

The supermarket said it was not its policy to ask for identification for potential drug paraphernalia.

A spokeswoman said: “We’re very sorry for any confusion that this error caused. Our Think 25 policy is designed to ensure that age-related products are sold safely, and colleagues are trained to ensure they enforce our policy correctly.

“Think 25 refresher sessions are available for colleagues who require it.”