Friends and family of 85-year-old Percy Nodge have been expressing their anger at the owners of The Shiny Spoon in London Road, Southend after the popular pensioner slipped and fell in the café earlier this afternoon. According to witnesses at the scene, Mr Nodge had been making multiple trips to the counter from his table before suddenly slipping over – paramedics were at the scene within minutes to rush him to hospital.
Derek Fringe was enjoying lunch with his wife when the accident happened. He said: ‘We see Percy in there every week, and he always places the same order for a cup of tea and two Rich Tea Fingers – I heard the owner mentioning that they had changed to a new brand of biscuits, but I didn’t think anything of it at the time. Percy sat down and started dunking his biscuits as normal, but they got soaked and broke off into his cup. He went back to the counter to buy another two fingers for 30p, and when he tried to use those biscuits to fish the original ones out of the cup the same thing happened again. He bought two more, lost them into his tea, and he ended up going back for a third lot – by my reckoning he must have purchased twenty before the terrible accident happened.’
Mr Fringe continued: ‘I could see that his tea was about to flow out of the cup because of the sheer volume of soggy biscuits in there, and ‘biscuit 21′ sent liquid shooting all over the place. Percy stood up to consider his next move and slipped on some tea that had trickled down onto the floor. By the time that the owner had arrived with an extra-long teaspoon it was too little, too late. I have heard since then that he is recovering well and should be allowed home tomorrow.’
A spokesperson for UK Biscuiting said: ‘We would like to extend our full sympathies to Mr Nodge and his family at this difficult time, and we have issued a full recall for our Crunchy Budget range of Rich Tea Fingers. We have identified a potential flaw in the manufacturing process that has made these fingers far more porous than the EU recommended level of 6.4 vegetons per square inch, and any other customers with batch numbers 1004-1007 should contact their supplier for a full refund immediately. We must remind the public that these biscuits must not be eaten or dunked into hot beverages under any circumstances.’