Coughs and splutters as singer brian is vetted over throat sweets

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WHEN Brian Graves tried to buy throat sweets from a Sheffield superstore to help him with his singing, he was astonished to find the purchase needed to be specifically authorised.

“I understand the vetting procedure for the purchase of alcoholic products – but cough sweets?” said Mr Graves, aged 77, who was at the self-service checkout at the Tesco off Abbeydale Road.

He was trying to buy five small tubes of Halls Mentholyptus sweets. “I’m in a couple of choirs,” he said. “It’s nice to pop them in my mouth before singing.”

But each time he scanned them at the tills, he found that authorisation was needed.

Mr Graves, of Moorbank Road, Sandygate, who used to own an industrial chemist, said he had bought the sweets from other shops without any problems.

“I can’t see anything in the ingredients that needs any sort of permission,” he said.

“I do know how dangerous some stuff can be but to be pulled up at the tills for cough sweets is ridiculous.”

He added he was unaware that “you had to be over 18 to buy throat sweets.

“I was outraged and contacted the firm’s consumer contact line. Their reply was to apologise for the inconvenience and excused themselves by saying the in-store pharmacy had put the embargo on.

“How is it that other large supermarkets, smaller shops and pharmacies both large and small put no restrictions on this product. Is this another example of the nanny state or is it health and safety? It’s absolutely bonkers!”

A Tesco spokesman said: “There should be no restriction on this product. We are not sure why a restriction was activated on the till but we are investigating. This is an IT issue rather than the product itself.”