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HomeFact CheckFact check: Several Bangladeshi media misreports on purchase limit in UK supermarkets

Fact check: Several Bangladeshi media misreports on purchase limit in UK supermarkets

Claim– A customer can only buy three pieces of tomatoes in the UK supermarkets

Fact– A customer can buy only three units (packs) of tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers in a single purchase.

Britain’s supermarkets limit purchases of certain fruits and vegetables as the country faces supply shortages. 

Supermarkets and grocery chains such as Tesco, Asda, and Aldi have limited purchases of tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers to three items per customer. 

Several mainstream media in Bangladesh have reported the incident and claimed that a customer in the UK can “only purchase three tomatoes at a time.” 

These news reports can be checked here- Bangladeshpartidin, jugantor, prothom alo, jamunaTV

See a few screenshots below-

A Bangladeshi daily claims a customer can not buy more than three tomatoes at a time
A Bangladeshi daily claims a customer can not buy more than three tomatoes at a time
courtesy: JAIJAI Din
a Bangladeshi daily claims a customer can not buy more than three tomatoes at a time
a Bangladeshi daily claims a customer can not buy more than three tomatoes at a time
courtesy: bdnews24

a leading news channel telecasting the false claim
a leading news channel telecasting the false claim
courtesy: Jamuna TV

   

Newschecker has found the claim to be false.

Fact-check/ Verification:

On February 27th, reports about rationing in the UK’s kitchen market were published in Bangladeshi media. According to these reports, customers in the UK are now limited in their ability to purchase fruits and vegetables, with a restriction of three single tomatoes per customer at a time.

The news articles cited reputable sources such as BBC, The Guardian, and Reuters. 

To verify the claim, we reviewed some related articles from these news agencies.

International media reports:

According to the BBC news report- “The UK’s largest supermarket, Tesco, and discounter Aldi have said they are putting limits of three per customer on sales of tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers.” 

Here is the link to the BBC main report- BBC News

A report from The Guardian said, “Tesco and Aldi are limiting customers to three units of tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers as a precautionary measure, while Asda is also limiting customers on lettuce, salad bags, broccoli, cauliflower and raspberries.”

Here the guardian has mentioned the term three units of tomatoes, and not three single tomatoes.

Read the main report- The Guardian.

The same has been reported in other credible international media like Reuters and The DailyMail.

Reality check in UK supermarkets:

For further confirmation, we went to buy tomatoes from  Asda groceries, discounter Aldi’s online shops, using a local address and tried to buy more than three units of tomatoes.

Our investigation revealed that both Asda and Aldi limit customers to three units of tomatoes. 

On the Asda website, when we attempted to purchase more than three units of tomatoes, we received a message stating, “maximum reached.” 

Similarly, when we added more than three units of tomatoes to our cart on Aldi’s website, a message popped up saying, “sorry, you can only purchase three of this item.”

This is what we found:

Asda's main website limits customers to 3 units of purchase
Asda’s main website limits customers to 3 units of purchase
courtesy: Asda’s main website
Aldi's main website shows one can only purchase three units of the same item(tomatoes)
Aldi’s main website shows one can only purchase three units of the same item(tomatoes)
Courtesy: Aldi’s main website

Furthermore, we discovered that both retailers sell tomatoes in pre-packaged quantities, with no option for customers to purchase loose tomatoes. 

Conclusions:

Therefore, the claim made by several media houses that a customer in the UK can only purchase three pieces of tomatoes is false. It is not three pieces of tomatoes but only three units that a customer in UK supermarkets is allowed to buy now. 

Result: False


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