Dye added to Tesco ‘inky’ orchid

Charles Ainsworth was surprised when the blue orchid he bought started leaking ink
Charles Ainsworth was surprised when the blue orchid he bought started leaking ink

A PLANT geneticist who bought an ‘unusual and striking’ orchid for his wife was surprised to find it leaking ink.

Charles Ainsworth, from Sidlesham, bought the orchid from Tesco Extra in Fishbourne for his wife, who is recovering from an operation.

“My wife was left with a blue substance on her fingers which she found extremely worrying given her medical condition,” said Dr Ainsworth.

“A real worry is I do not know if the dye is toxic and could have affected anyone who handled it.”

Dr Ainsworth said inspection of the stem showed a region which had been ‘punctured’ and was covered in blue ‘inky’ material.

“It seems like the stem has been injected to give a plant that normally flowers white flowers, blue flowers,” he said.

“The finding that the plant is a fake took the gloss off the purchase and I took it back to Tesco.”

Dr Ainsworth, who is a loyal customer, said the manager was ‘not the slightest bit interested’ and told him to phone Tesco’s head office.

“No refund or any type of apology was offered.”

A Tesco spokesperson said: “It is not uncommon for florists to add dyes to ornamental flowers to create a specific colour effect, and the dyes used do not pose any risk.

“We sincerely apologise if the customer feels his complaint was not taken seriously by the store.”