A 24-year-old shopper was asked for ID when he attempted to buy a microwavable chocolate pudding at Tesco - because he 'might burn himself when it gets hot'.
Robert Nemeti was stunned when he was quizzed about his age as he tried to purchase a Cadbury Hot Chocolate Pudding at a self-service checkout.
The machine, in Southampton, Hampshire, told him his purchase had to be 'approved' - and a member of staff was only too eager to demand his identification proving he was over 18.
When asked why he was being questioned over his age, the safety-conscious female assistant replied: 'Because when you cook it, it can get hot. You may burn yourself.
The exasperated photographer today described the request as 'health and safety gone mad'.
He did not have any ID on him to prove that he was responsible enough to handle the dessert because he had just 'nipped to the shop to buy something sweet after work'.
However the shop worker, described as in her thirties, approved the purchase anyway, saying she was satisfied he looked old enough to be trusted with the £1 dessert and not hurt himself.
Mr Nemeti, from Southampton, said: 'I scanned through a pint of milk without any problem and then scanned the pudding.
'I was puzzled when the machine beeped, flashed up a warning on the screen and an annoying automated voice warned ‘approval needed’.
'I only bought two items - and they weren’t alcohol, cigarettes, solvents or sharp - so I was clueless as to why they would need approval.
'The woman who was monitoring the self-service checkouts came over and asked me for identification, showing I was 18.
'I asked her why and was stunned when she told me: "It gets hot when you cook it - and you may burn yourself."
'Surely the same can be said of many of the products they sell in any supermarket.
'Health and safety has gone crazy if you now have to prove you can be trusted to buy a chocolate pudding.'
He added: 'I explained to the woman that I didn’t have any ID because I had only nipped in to buy something sweet after work.
'Thankfully the assistant agreed that I looked over 18 and she scanned her staff pass to approve the sale.'
Mr Nemeti managed to cook and eat the dessert that evening for his dinner without injuring himself.
A Tesco spokesman said today: 'There is no age restriction on this product.
'We’ve scanned the item ourselves and found that no age restriction message appeared, so there may have been a one-off error with the checkout.'