25th Jan 2004 I should have been suspicious when the 1kg bag of chips was found to contain 150g of ice...

Dear Sir,

I am not happy.

When I am not happy my wife gets anxious, my children cower in their rooms, the cat makes itself scarce, the neighbours draw their curtains, people out walking their dogs cross the street and even the Jehovah's Witness turn around and decide to try the next house.

It is not a pretty sight.

Friday night is chip night. In the good old days when the common potato was king and Friday night chip-pan fires far too common, the statutory procedure was to do your own thing in a pan of oil. In the modern world this has been replaced by oven chips.

This brings me to BirdsEye Originals Straight Chips 1kg, BB 01.08.05 19 1923.

My first problem was the 150g of ice in the bag. This seems a trifle excessive.

The second was the fact that, when cooked, the chips did not form the statutory crisp surface enclosing a hot fluffy potato filling, God's ideal vehicle for introducing salt to the human body, but just dried out and became little sticks of brown chalk.

I could have perhaps forgiven the water if the chips had have been edible, but the left-right double punch was too much for me. I had waited all week for those chips.

When Jack Simplot first started shipping potatoes to the chip-eaters of the world I very much doubt that he would have envisaged the product that filled bag BB 01.08.05 19 1923.

Have I missed something? Is this the chip equivalent of tuna in springwater?

And the reply came:

...It would seem from the description of the contents you have supplied that there has been a failure somewhere in the distribution, warehousing or perhaps retail storage to maintain the product at the correct storage temperature...sincerely regrets and apologises for any inconvenience caused...

Fair but dull.