Social media users have pointed out the dangers of a prankster’s actions after they claimed to have a habit of swapping labels naming ready meals as ‘meat’ or ‘vegetarian’.
News of the risky joke was on Chicken and Licking Day, a Facebook page dedicated to sharing funny memes and jokes, in a post which showed an image of two Tesco lasagnes, one beef and one vegetable.
However, apparently the labels couldn’t necessarily be trusted as the caption revealed someone had messed with them.
Some mornings I like to pop in to Tesco & switch the cardboard sleeves around on these just for fun.
It’s not clear who the prankster actually is as their name and profile picture had been obscured, and with the lack of information about exactly which Tesco they’d been targeting it seems any of us could be at risk of falling for their joke.
A few people found the post funny but although the person responsible claimed to be swapping the sleeves ‘just for fun’ many Facebook users argued there could be dangerous consequences.
Further to providing incorrect information about the use-by date, nutritional values and storage of the real contents of the pack, swapping the labels means customers would be unaware of the ingredients actually included in the product and therefore would be unable to confidently avoid anything they couldn’t eat, whether for dietary, health, religious or personal reasons.
The UK Government requires any companies producing pre-packed food to follow strict allergen labelling requirements, with allergenic ingredients emphasised in some way to make it clear for the consumers.
One annoyed person responded:
Please don’t do this. Some people have medical reasons for eating a vegetarian diet.
Including allergies and the inability to process meat. This could be dangerous.
Another urged the joker to think of the consequences their mischief could have for the supermarket, writing:
You could land the company in serious s*** for that. As well as tricking a vegetarian into eating meat. It’s not funny and is incredibly immature and irresponsible.
Anyone wanting to do this for “lols” needs a good kick up the a**e.
Have I fully just seen a Facebook post about swapping the labels on vegetable and beef lasagnes 😭 imagine being that bored in life. People can get really sick from that shit
— Kayleigh Harrison Ⓥ (@bar_bands) June 15, 2019
Whoever was behind the label swapping presumed it would just prompt a surprised reaction from any meat eaters looking forward to a beef lasagne, or vice verse for vegetarians, but they haven’t considered the dangerous side effects their ‘fun’ could cause.
The ill-thought out ‘prank’ could cause serious health issues without the person responsible even realising. The Sun report Tesco is aware of the issue and is ‘monitoring the situation’.
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Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.