Tesco has found itself in a pickle over the label on one of its ready meals.
Customer Matthew Stock did not mince his words when he tweeted the supermarket asking it to explain a best before date of 20140 on a sachet of burger relish.
The chain responded saying the date code on the relish included with two beef cheese burgers was a date from the old Julian calendar, last used in 1752.
Translated into the more usual Gregorian calendar it is 20 May 2020.
The Julian calendar was last used in the UK in 1752, before it was replaced by the Gregorian calendar, which is the most commonly used calendar in the world.
Mr Stock bought the Tesco own label meal which contained two burgers, two buns two cheese slices and the sachet of relish .
The supermarket said the Julian date code was used by its supplier for “internal traceability purposes”, and the standard best before date was printed on the outside of the main packaging.
“We’re sorry if any of our customers got in a pickle about this and we have relished the chance to put the record straight.”
Matthew Stock tweeted back: “Are you serious? Surely that’s not a legitimate way of dating products?”
All food manufacturers are legally required to stamp a best before or a use by date on their products.
The Julian calendar was first introduced in October 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII. It is still used by some orthodox churches, including the Orthodox Church in Russia.
The Gregorian calendar has three fewer days in every 400 year period than the Julian calendar.