Man finds dirty face mask in new pair of Sainsbury's jeans

John Etheridge. Picture: John Etheridge.

John Etheridge. Picture: John Etheridge. - Credit: Archant

A man has spoken of his concerns after he found a used face mask in the pocket of a pair of brand new jeans he bought from Sainsbury's.

John Etheridge, 56, from Stalham, purchased the trousers from the store on the Longwater Retail Park in Norwich, but did not discover the mask until months later when he tried them on.

Mr Etheridge said it was "unbelievable" when he pulled the black mask out, adding that he was worried it could have brought coronavirus into his home and potentially infected his 10-year-old granddaughter, who suffers with diabetes.

Sainsbury's Pound Lane. Picture: Google Maps

Sainsbury's Pound Lane. Picture: Google Maps - Credit: Archant

He said: "This is unbelievable, I only paid three quid for them and the reason for that was because the button was missing.

"Obviously someone had taken them home, tried them on and stuffed their mask in the pocket.


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"I've seen on the news you shouldn't even hand a mug over because it may be contaminated, so I'm thinking to myself 'hang on, I've had this mask in my home for a couple of months'.

"I got in touch with Sainsbury's and told them 'I could've potentially brought Covid into my home because of you, what the hell is going on'.

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"They wrote back and told me that government policy says that it doesn't matter and said they would give me a £25 voucher as an apology.

"I had so much going on so I thought 'ok let's just get on with it' and took the voucher even though I wasn't happy.

"I never received that voucher.

"But I couldn't give two hoots about the voucher, my granddaughter has type 1 diabetes and I could quite easily have passed Covid on to her and if that had happened where would we be now."

face mask

Face mask. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

In an apology to Mr Etheridge seen by this newspaper, the supermarket's manager claimed government advice tells them there is "no threat of contamination through fabric" and that it was "not an intentional mistake".

Sainsbury's has now arranged to resend Mr Etheridge's voucher after he did not receive the first one.

A Sainsbury's spokesperson said: “Safety is our highest priority.

"We have processes in place to prevent this from happening and we have contacted the customer to apologise for this experience.”

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