Hindu man who mistakenly ate beef wants supermarket to pay for his 'purification' trip
Jaswinder Paul from New Zealand claims that he would have to travel to India for the 'purification' process and wants Countdown to pay for it
A Hindu man in New Zealand, who ate beef that was mistakenly labelled as lamb by the supermarket where he bought it from, wants the chain to pay for his trip to India to be "purified by priests."
According to reports, Jaswinder Paul bought a package that was labeled as lamb roast from Countdown Blenheim in late September last year. He took the meat home, cooked it, and ate some of it before realizing that the meat was beef.
Paul said that cows are viewed as sacred in Hinduism and eating the meat had made him break his religious vows.
Paul, who moved to Blenheim, New Zealand, from India about 20 years ago, now wants the supermarket giant to cover the costs of his "purification", the Daily Mail reported.
He told stuff.co.nz: "According to my religion, I have to go back to my country and do sacred things for four to six weeks and be purified by priests, so I can continue on my religious path. It's a long process."
The small business owner said that in order to do so he would have to close down his shop, Headmaster Barbers, and travel to India.
He said he would also have to pay a lot for the return flights to New Delhi, aside from accommodation and food. Paul also claimed that his family had not talked to him ever since he ate the beef. A spokesperson for Countdown said that Paul had approached the supermarket chain in September after the incident.
The spokesperson said: "Unfortunately, in September last year, an error with our in-store labeling resulted in a pack of our beef mince being sold with both beef and lamb labels, which was incorrect and obviously very confusing. We're deeply sorry that this happened. We very much appreciate and respect Mr. Paul's beliefs and certainly, there was no intent to incorrectly label the product."
The woman also said that Countdown replaced the product and offered Paul a gift voucher in what the chain called "a goodwill gesture."
Paul however refused to take the voucher and asked the company to pay for his purification process instead. After going a few months without a response, Paul went into Countdown Blenheim in February 27 and spoke to the manager.
The spokesperson said that after Paul contacted the chain again, Countdown once again indicated that it was "very sorry for what happened" and that their earlier gift voucher offer still stood.
Paul has now said that he is thinking of seeking compensation for the mistake through the courts.
He said: "I don't want to go to court against a big corporation. I just want to go home. I understand this looks like a simple matter, but for me this is very hard. I break my religion [vows] because of someone else's negligence. I know my society back from my home will not accept me with this breach of the religion's conditions."