A nurse who is fighting cancer has slammed Lidl after she was reportedly accused of stealing for eating one cashew nut.
Anna Bagot, 60, claims she was in the middle of taste-testing a loose nut when she was confronted by a member of staff.
The NHS worker said she had previously purchased a stale bag and just wanted to check the quality ahead of buying it.
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Anna says she was left "really upset" following the ordeal which reportedly happened at a branch in Fakenham, Norfolk on October 13.
A spokesman for Lidl has since said they "kindly ask that products are purchased before consumption".
Anna said: "It was so so awful. I felt quite intimidated. It's not like I was having my lunch. It was half a nut – it's absolutely ridiculous.
"Honestly I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. And with everything that's going on in the world at the moment, it just felt so trivial.
"I've worked all through Covid and now we're in a cost of living crisis. Nuts are a luxury and we can't all risk money on food that might be stale.
"It's inconvenient taking goods back and it takes time, plus it can feel awkward. I've just had 25 rounds of chemo, and with that and everything else going on in the world, a nut seems pretty insignificant."
Anna, who has been a nurse for almost 20 years, says she immediately went to pay after being confronted.
She says she bought a large bag of cashews, as she always intended, for £2.33, and gave one nut from her bag back to make amends.
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Anna claimed: "I won't go back after this.
"He said, 'It's theft by deception', I said, 'It's just one nut'. He was absolutely serious and I was really upset. At the start he just came up to me, and he was wearing a coat so I didn't even know he was the manager.
"He said, 'Do you know it's theft? Because it's an unweighed item'. I explained and he unzipped his jacket. He just showed me his Lidl emblem and said, 'I work here, I'm a Lidl employee.' Later the cashier told me he was a manager."
Anna was with her daughter Estella, 20, but they took separate baskets on their weekly shopping trip – so it wasn't obvious they had arrived together.
Estella said she saw what happened, having been stood further back in the queue.
Anna has since called Lidl's customer complaints department and asked them to look at the CCTV footage to show she ate just one nut.
A Lidl spokesperson said: "We always aim to provide our customers with a pleasant and positive experience when shopping in our stores.
"Nevertheless, we kindly ask that products are purchased before consumption.
"Should a customer be unhappy with a product, we would always encourage them to get in touch with our customer services team."
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