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Muslim worker refuses to sell ham and wine to customer in Tesco in Neasden

PUBLISHED: 10:21 17 July 2014 | UPDATED: 10:21 17 July 2014

Tesco have issued an apology to Julie Cottle

Tesco have issued an apology to Julie Cottle

Archant

A supermarket giant has issued an apology after a Muslim worker refused to serve a customer buying ham and wine saying he was fasting for Ramadan.

Julie Cottle, has lodged a complaint with Tesco after the employee at the manned till inside the Express branch in Neasden Lane, insisted she use the self-service checkout.

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar when Muslims, who are strictly forbidden from consuming alcohol and pork at all times, fast between dawn and sunset.

Mrs Cottle told the Times: “He pointed at the ham and wine in my basket and said ‘I can’t serve you that because I’m fasting’.

“When I told him he should be serving customers not turning them away he still refused telling me to go to the self-service.

“I was furious.”

When Mrs Cottle, a mother-of-three, complained to the manager she said he backed the worker.

“He insisted I use the self-checkout but said he would pass on my complaint,” she said.

“I’m disgusted. If he is refusing to do his job he shouldn’t be there.”

Mrs Cottle said after calling customer services when she got home she was told the worker could face disciplinary action.

She added: “I hope he does. If he can’t serve food he shouldn’t be working in a supermarket.”

A spokesman for Tesco said: “We’re here to serve our customers the products they choose to buy. We don’t have a specific policy and take a pragmatic approach if a colleague raises concerns about a job they have been asked to do.

“We apologise to our customer for any inconvenience on this occasion.”

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