9 Dec 2010

Regulators have gone crackers, say shops

8:47 am on 9 December 2010

Britain's retailers are being forced to demand age identification from shoppers wanting to buy Christmas crackers.

Health and safety legislation which came into effect in August classed Christmas crackers are as category one fireworks, and people have to be at least 16 to buy them.

Retailers describe the new classification as daft.

The British Retail Consortium says busy shoppers with a lot on their minds will be understandably frustrated if they are asked to provide ID to buy a box of Christmas crackers.

Under the legislation, stores face financial penalties and individual cashiers fines of up to £5,000 pounds and six months in prison for selling crackers to underage customers.

"It's the health and safety rules which have gone crackers and not retailers themselves," the BRC said.