Jaswinder Paul told Stuff.co.nz he purchased the meat from Countdown in Blenheim on New Zealand’s South Island in September.
It was labelled as lamb but was actually beef, and he ate it. Cows are considered sacred to Hindus and can’t be consumed.
Mr Paul said he needs to be purified by priests in a process of between four to six weeks back in New Delhi, India. It will also mean he has to close his barbershop over that period.
“I understand this looks like a simple matter, but for me this is very hard. I break my religion (vows) because of someone else’s negligence,” he said.
“I know my society back from my home will not accept me with this breach of the religion’s conditions.”
A Countdown spokesperson confirmed to Yahoo7 there had been a mistake with beef mince labelled as lamb due to an error with the in-store labelling machine.
“We’re deeply sorry that this happened,” the spokesperson said.
“We very much appreciate and respect Mr Paul’s beliefs and certainly there was no intent to incorrectly label the product.
“As soon as Mr Paul contacted us in September we replaced the product and also offered him voucher as a goodwill gesture, which was declined. He contacted us last week; we’ve again indicated that we’re very sorry for what’s happened and that our earlier gesture still stands.”
Mr Paul claims he’s been offered a $200 voucher, which he refused instead wanting flights home.
The New Zealand resident is now considering legal action to receive compensation.
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