Rs10,000 compensation for fungus on cake

Though physiotherapist Mr Chandrakanth might have been embarrassed when he realised that the birthday cake he had got for his father had fungus in it, he can now smile: the consumer court has ordered the cake shop to pay him Rs10,000 as compensation for causing him distress and ruining a happy occasion.

Mr Chandrakanth had bought a cake from Adyar Bakery on March 7, 2008 to celebrate his father’s birthday. “I was depressed when I found the cake was full of fungus. I couldn’t even offer a piece to my father on his birthday. When I approached the bakery, the staff were elusive. I sent the cake to the food analysis laboratory at Kings Institute in Guindy,” he said in the complaint.

He was shocked when he received the report which stated that the cake contained the ‘Aspergillus Niger’ fungus and it was unfit for human consumption. The doctor also said that the bakery staff did not respond when he told them about the report.

Mr C. Paul Barnabas of the TN Consumer Protection Organisation said he had taken the complaint to the consumer court to get compensation for Mr Chandrakanth and to spread awareness about food contamination. “We produced the lab test report. But the opposite parties did not have any records to prove their case. Aggrieved consumers should move the consumer court against service deficiency,” he said.

In their counter, the bakery representative said no alert had been given to them before approaching the court.

Delivering the order, judge V. Gopal directed the bakery to return the cost of the cake, Rs165, Rs10,000 as compensation for mental agony and Rs5,000 as cost of complaint within six weeks.

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