Store refused to fillet 'slippery fish'

June 7, 2013 at 3:10 PM
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LONDON, June 7 (UPI) -- A British health and safety watchdog said a supermarket's refusal to fillet a fish because it was "too slippery" had nothing to do with safety.

The Health and Safety Executive's Myth Busters Challenge Panel, which is tasked with analyzing company decisions that use health and safety as justification, said a customer at a Waitrose store asked for a whole trout to be filleted for purchase, but a supervisor told her the request was not possible because the fish was "too slippery" for employee safety, The Independent reported Friday.

The customer complained to the HSE after discovering the store's website advertised fish filleting as a service offered.

Judith Hackitt, chair of the Health and Safety Executive and the Myth Busters Challenge Panel, said her group determined the refusal to fillet the fish had nothing to do with health and safety.

"I'm glad the customer didn't fall for this red herring. Just another case of poor customer service and nothing to do with health and safety," Hackitt said. "HSE's myth busters challenge panel is helping people fight back against petty excuses and is drawing attention to the real reason for health and safety laws -- preventing death and serious injury in the workplace."

Waitrose issued an apology for the incident.

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