Store Refuses Customer's Coins Because of Anthrax Fear

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. - A father who brought $3.13 in change to buy milk, three jars of baby food and a newspaper at a Market Basket store in Portsmouth, N.H., was turned away by a cashier because of anthrax fears, The Associated Press reports.

Store manager Darin Artus told the AP that the company began rejecting rolled coins after anthrax scares at other supermarkets, where rolled coins concealed a powdery substance.

The customer, Anthony Ouellette, offered to unroll the $1.50, but a supervisor refused the idea, the AP reports.

Ouellette then went to another store and used a coin-counting machine to tally his 150 rolled pennies and $1.63 in loose pennies, nickels and dimes.

"I didn't want to go through that again because it's kind of embarrassing," said Ouellette, 27, who works three jobs to pay bills for 5-month-old Abbygail and the rest of his family.

"I just couldn't believe it. Anybody takes change, I thought," said Ouellette. "I could understand if I came in there with $50 or $60 worth of change."
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