Store eats humble pie over mouldy treat

The mouldy apple pie bought at a store in Thorton.

A Bonteheuwel man is furious after he bought an apple pie from a shop in Thornton that turned out to be mouldy.

Abie Clayton, 62, from Bonteheuwel, bought two small apple pies from OK MiniMark in Thornton on Friday February 11, at about 7.30pm. Later that evening, his wife Jennifer, 59, bit into the pie and tasted mould. She opened her pie and saw that the contents were mouldy. Mr Clayton also opened his pie and saw the same.

The next day, he returned to the shop and, posing as a customer, asked the baker when the pies on sale had been baked.

Mr Clayton said the baker had told him that the pies had been baked the day before.

He accused the baker of selling old pies and told him the pies he had bought the previous day had been mouldy.

“I demanded that he open the pies that were on sale, three of four were mouldy and the other not. I spoke to the manager who apologised and then he asked the baker how he could not keep track of the expiration date of the pies.”

The manager apologised and gave Mr Clayton two free 2-litre cold drinks and a banana loaf as compensation.

Mr Clayton said that his wife had experienced nausea up until Monday February 14.

“Myself and my wife are both diabetic and suffer from high blood pressure, and I was just scared that this makes us more sick. This is the first time that something like this happened. The thought of ingesting something mouldy is nauseating,” he said.

Mayoral committee member for community services and health, Patricia van der Ross, said the pie should have ideally been submitted to the City’s health department for testing. She said that the potential health impact of consuming mould would depend on the type of mould and whether toxins had been produced, she said.

Dr Zahid Badroodien, the mayoral committee member for water and himself a former general practitioner, said ingesting mould could lead to diarrhoea, nausea, and vomiting.

“These symptoms could last for five to seven days if no medication was taken, but this depends on many factors,” he said.

Tanya Mans, the human resources manager for the Hadjidakis Group, which owns the store, said the store manager had confirmed that “there was perhaps a slight sequencing fault in our stock-rotation processes.”

It was most certainly not common practice to sell products after their “best before” date, and staff were regularly coached on that, she said, adding that stern disciplinary action would be taken against the bakery manager who had been negligent.

The customer had been given a banana loaf and two 2-litre cold drinks the next day, she said.

“The customer was extremely grateful with the intervention as well as accepted our apology well and was most understanding of the situation. We will do everything in our power to ensure that this does not re-occur and that our customer’s needs are met properly,” she said.