A chef was stunned to find she was almost banned from buying two limes from a supermarket - because they could be classed as a weapon.
Marisa Zoccolan, 31, popped into the new Asda supermarket close to her home in Wallsend, North Tyneside, to pick up some groceries, including the citrus fruits.
But when she tried to pay for them at the self-service checkout, the message 'amount exceeded, authorisation required' flashed up.
Two limes? That's one too many: Marisa Zoccolan, pictured with the two limes she was almost forbidden from buying
An assistant then came over and told her that more than one lime was deemed a weapon - because the citric acid could be squirted in someone's eye.
Marisa, a self-employed caterer said: 'I thought they were taking the pip, but the assistant told me the same applied to lemons.
'I've heard of supermarkets banning people from buying things before, but this is just crazy.
'I scanned the first lime and put it in the bag, scanned the second but then the 'amount exceeded' message came up on the screen.
'The assistant came over and tried to authorise it but the same message flashed up, so she went away to speak to someone higher up.
'I thought she was having a laugh when she came back and told me more than one lime is classed as a weapon.
'I asked her why. Was it because they can be thrown?
Eventually staff at the supermarket allowed Marisa to buy both limes
'But no, it's because they contain citric acid which could be squirted in someone's eyes. How ridiculous is that?'
Thankfully for Ms Zoccalan, who lives with partner Jacqui Nicholson, 37, and dog Doobie, the assistant allowed Marisa to eventually buy both of the fruits.
'Yes, they vetted me and let me buy them.
'I clearly don't look like I'm going to carry out a drive-by fruiting any time soon.
'If that citric acid rule applies to lemons and limes, it must apply to grapefruits as well.
'Maybe oranges are safer because they're less acidic?'
A spokeswoman for Asda said Ms Zoccalan would be offered some 'complimentary limes' as an apology.
'We know that sometimes health and safety rules can seem a bit plum crazy, but on this occasion it's a case of one of our colleagues indulging their sub-lime sense of humour,' she said.
'For some reason our tills are having trouble scanning multiple citrus fruits.
'We're working to fix the problem, but it seems our colleague tried to make
light of the issue.'
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