Five Occasions Supermarkets Sold Stuff They Probably Shouldn't Have

By Chris Mills on at

Supermarkets are wonderful places; grocery-filled utopias equally amazing for the weekly shop and late-night maple syrup runs. They're basically the epitome of modern retail prowess; like the rest of us, though, they're just human, and sometimes they screw up awfully (as I'm sure you've read this morning). Here's a collection of the retail giants' greatest gaffes to date.

1.) Horse Meat

You know what goes superbly with a glass of chardonneigh or marelot at dinner? A horse meat burger. Turns out that owing to terrible quality control/a beef shortage, Tesco and Iceland have taken to selling beef burgers that actually contain up to 29 per cent horse meat. The dodgy stuff originates from Ireland and Yorkshire; even though horse meat's not actually illegal, and probably constitutes part of a stable diet, it's been withdrawn from sale, and the horsey-meat is off. Right, that's me punned out.*

2.) Tap Water 'Mineral Water'

So this one isn't strictly illegal or anything, but it's still a rip-off worthy of the dodgiest of 'unwanted DVD-player-toting' pub geezers. Tesco and Asda were found guilty of bottling and re-branding straight-up tap water as mineral water, before whacking the price up by 2500 per cent, and sticking it on shelves. Naughty boys.

3.) Tesco's Kiddie's Pole-Dancing Kit

Talk about over-sexualisation of children. Back in 2006, Tesco decided that a totally appropriate and acceptable toy to put on sale would be a pole-dancing kit for children, containing: a proper chrome-plated stripper-pole, "sexy dance garter", and DVD with a bunch of suggestive dance moves on it. Just add the leather S&M catsuit and handcuffs, and you have the perfect home bondage kit for your little tyke.

4.) Chinese Milk Scandal

In 2008, China was rocked by a scandal caused by contaminated baby milk formula killing babies and making children ill. Unsurprisingly, the problems weren't just in China; the industrial chemical responsible for the illness, melamine, made its way over to the UK by cunningly disguising itself as a sweet, White Rabbit Cream Candies. If ingested, the chemical would cause stomach pains and kidney stones, which totally ruins your sugar high. Needless to say, the sweeties were withdrawn from sale, probably saving lots of lives and causing innumerable toddler tantrums.

5.) Cloned Animal Meat

Sound vaguely familiar? In another dodgy food scandal, cloned bull meat accidentally entered the UK food chain after an American supplier illegally sold it on. Cloned meat isn't known to be dangerous, but it's still illegal in the UK. What I want to know is:, does using cloned meat mean you could create two identical burgers? Could you actually tell the difference between the two? Will eating cloned meat mean you start cloning little bull-ets? QUESTIONS.

*The author apologies for any wince-induced injuries resultant from his terrible use of puns, and hopes he hasn't just been flogging a dead horse. 
Header image: Horse from Shuttersock
2st image: Tesco
3rd image: Stripper from Shutterstock
4th image: Poison from Shutterstock
5th image: Bull from Shutterstock