After discovering a fibre in his favourite McVitie's biscuit, noted cinematographer Anoop Chatterjee made several phone calls and visits to officials for answers, but in vain
The discovery of a foreign particle in his favourite biscuit sent this man on a wild goose chase for answers, which proved to be as elusive as the Holy Grail.
Anoop Chatterjee (52), a well-known cinematographer who has shot films like Ram Lakhan and Saudagar, was having breakfast with his wife Varsha, on tea and their chosen accompaniment, McVitie's cookies, when she found a fibre inside one of them.
And thus began the protracted quest for answers, which ended in disappointment, and the alienated customer's pledge to never purchase a cookie of the same brand again.
A resident of Borivili (W), Chatterjee said, "This is a matter of grave concern. McVitie's Cookies is a respected and old brand of United Biscuits (UK) Limited, which sells food items across the world, and is expected to maintain the highest standards of product manufacture.
It is beyond my comprehension how such a world-reputed brand could lower its standards to this extent."
He continued, "On August 9, we were having the biscuits with tea, when we were shocked to find a fibre ensconced in the one my wife was munching on, resembling a jute fibre.
I went back to the store where I had purchased the packet, and spoke to the manager; he shovelled the responsibility of reporting the incident unto my plate.
I made repeated attempts to the brand's Vasant Kunj office in New Delhi, and also lodged a complaint with the FDA, Mumbai. At the FDA, I was told that the biscuits had been manufactured in the Ogli village in Himachal Pradesh, and told to take my grievance to the FDA office of that state."
Chatterjee, seen here with wife Varsha who discovered the particle, was denied permission to visit the factory in Himachal Pradesh where the cookie was manufactured
Chatterjee forwarded photographs of the adulterated biscuit to senior officials of the company at their Delhi address. In response, he received a call from Manoj Lalwani, the company's general manager of marketing on August 12.
Lalwani claimed that it was a freak incident, insisting that the plant in Himachal Pradesh was state-of-the-art. He refused to admit to any lapses on the part of the brand.
Chatterjee added, "Lalwani asked me how I wished to sort the matter, and I asked to visit the plant. He promised to try and arrange for the visit, but no invitation was issued later."
Not one to give up, Chatterjee contacted United Biscuits headquarters in UK on August 29 and spoke to Fiona Cook, personal assistant to the David Fish, the chairman of the company.
A few days after narrating the incidents to her, he received a mail from Andrew Cheale - consumer & commercial relation manager, who apprised him that Fish had asked him to look into the matter personally.
Chatterjee said, "Andrew said that the biscuit would be examined in their lab, to ascertain what it consisted of. He also offered freebies, which I flatly refused to accept.
They denied me the permission to visit their factory in Himachal Pradesh. They have lost a loyal customer. I am left with no option but to seek legal opinion," asserted Chatterjee.
Did you know? Prince William's favourite chocolate cookie cake made from McVitie's biscuits was served at his wedding to Kate Middleton
The Other Side Repeated attempts made by MiDDAY to contact the Delhi and UK offices of the brand did not yield any results.