A Canary Wharf Waitrose customer who vomited after drinking what he thought was free coffee says staff need to heed food safety rules.
Gurdeep Singh, who lives on the Isle of Dogs was shopping at the supermarket on Sunday, June 21, when he decided he’d like some refreshment.
ALSO ONLINE: Notes coffee and wine business launches crowdfunding campaign
The 38-year-old collected coffee from a self-service machine that allows Waitrose customers to get a hot beverage for free, and drank from the cup.
He said: “The coffee was so hot I couldn’t even taste the cleaning fluid.
“I felt ill immediately and was sick in the store.”
Mr Singh said there was no sign on the machine saying it was on its cleaning cycle and there were cups in the dispensing unit.
He said: “I really don’t feel the response of Waitrose staff was good enough.
“There were too many people running around trying to resolve different things. There was nowhere for me to go – I was just stood next to the customer service desk.
“I’ve worked in retail and, when something like this happens, there are certain things you should do. I don’t think they did enough, which was disappointing.”
Although an ambulance was called, paramedics did not attend but advised Mr Singh he should go to hospital. Waitrose paid for a taxi to take him to A&E. However, it took nearly an hour before he was able to leave.
Mr Singh said: “I just don’t want this to happen to anyone else. I still feel unwell and nauseous more than 20 hours later.
“Food safety is very important and I wanted to highlight that this should be uppermost in the minds of Waitrose staff.
“It’s one of the reasons I shop at that supermarket in the first place. You don’t expect to be poisoned by what you buy.
“They did at least call me the morning after to find out how I was and left a message, but I haven’t been able to get back in touch with them.”
A Waitrose spokesman said: “We are very sorry to the customer for what was an unpleasant experience that should not have happened.
“The cleaning liquid we use is non-hazardous, however as a precaution our on-site first aider immediately sought further medical advice.
“We have taken action to ensure that this doesn’t happen again and have apologised to the customer for this distressing experience.”