Friday 23 February 2018

Medicines on sale in ‘sweet-free’ area of Tesco shop

Supermarket removes items after customers raise concerns

Products on sale in healthy “sweet-free” area of Tesco store
Products on sale in healthy “sweet-free” area of Tesco store

Sam Griffin

THESE were the products on sale in the healthy “sweet-free” area of one Tesco store in Dublin’s south inner city.

The area - usually designated for healthy snacks like nuts, seeds and dried fruits - contained packets of paracetemol-containing medication including packets of Panadol, Disprin, Lemsip and Anadin.

Customers raised concern with the tablets being displayed under the “sweet-free check-out” banner at the Tesco in Ringsend in Dublin.

A sign over the packets of medication the display also contained the phrase: “At Tesco we’re helping you make healthy little changes” and included the hashtag #SweetFreeCheckouts.

One customer Anne Behan said she immediately raised concerns with the products with members of staff.

“It’s very concerning because children could easily take the tablets without realising what they are because of where they are on sale. On the boxes of tablets themselves, it actually instructs shops to keep the tablets “out of reach and sight of children”, she told

Ms Behan said she raised the issue with Tesco and received communications back from the store’s UK and Ireland offices a full week after originally complaining.

“They apologised for not acting on this problem sooner and thanked me for bringing it to their attention,” she explained.

Tesco says the products have been removed and will no longer be included in the “sweet free” section at checkouts.

A Tesco spokesperson said the “sweet free” display in stores was launched last year and followed a decision to remove all sweets and chocolates from checkouts in its 148 stores.

The spokesperson said: “Since we announced our commitment to removing sweets and chocolates from our checkouts last May, we’ve been trialling healthy snacks such as popcorn, dried fruits and nuts, healthy breakfast and lunch options and impulse items such as health and beauty products including deodorants and some seasonal cold & flu medicines like Strepsils and Lemsip.”

“Although we’ve had very little feedback from customers in relation to the health & beauty products on sale, we have decided not to include paracetamol at the checkout in queue aisles going forward.”

Online Editors

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