Supermarket Snacking

    Have you ever tucked into a snack before paying for it in a supermarket? It’s something that many of us will have done without realising that we are breaking the law.

    Criminal law specialist, Rachel Adamson, says snacking while shopping is against the law.

    She says people may have the honest intention to pay for a chocolate bar they’ve eaten while shopping in a supermarket, but that is still technically illegal under section 6 of the Theft Act. Buying a product at the till is what transfers the ownership from the product belonging to the shopkeeper, to the customer. And that only when the sale is complete do shoppers have the legal right to consume or use it. If you eat the chocolate before you legally own it, you are depriving the owner of his right to the product, as he can no longer refuse you the sale or take the item off the shelf.

    Another example would be like redecorating a house before you’ve exchanged contracts or spray painting a car while it’s still in the showroom.
    Even with the honest intention of buying a product, you shouldn’t alter or use something that isn’t yours.

    When asked, the manager of a supermarket said that if a customer ate something before paying for it, that would be stealing. He advised people that hungry, to pay for the item first and then continue with their shopping.

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