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Case 178 - Enquirer requested some fish to be filleted at fish counter in a supermarket, and was refused because "fish is too slippery"

Issue

The enquirer wanted to purchase filleted trout in her local supermarket. None was available pre-packed so they asked the assistant on the fresh fish counter if he could fillet some from a whole fish. He agreed but then his supervisor intervened saying that this wasn't possible on the grounds of health and safety because the fish are too slippery. The enquirer noted that on the supermarket website, it states "just ask if you'd like your fish skinned or filleted".

Panel decision

Whilst fish filleting requires the person to know how to use knives safely, it is reasonable to expect this service to be available at a fishmonger's counter in a supermarket especially when the website advertises the service. Slippery fish are a fact of life! The panel's view is that this is yet another example of poor customer service hiding behind the health and safety excuse.

2013-05-28