Customers have hit out at a supermarket, labelling one of its signs as "disrespectful and insensitive".

Woolworths customer Lesley Millward posted a photo on social media of an "offensive" sign hanging over the meat display fridge in one of its Adelaide stores.

"What do you call a cow with no legs? Ground beef", the sign read.

Millward wrote: "what a disrespectful & insensitive bunch who work at Woolworths Glenelg!"


Her post has been liked more than 10,000 times and has attracted many comments, a large number agreeing with her view.

"All people saying 'get a sense of humour', behind this joke are millions of helpless animals trembling in fear pleading for their life in a slaughterhouse, with no one to help them before they are carelessly butchered. See it from their eyes please. Put yourself in their shoes and then think that someone is laughing about it," one person wrote.

Woolworths replied to Millward's post: "'Hi Lesley, thanks for sharing this with us. While we understand our team's light-hearted touch with the display, we would never intentionally offend anyone.

"We do take all feedback like this seriously and we'll be sharing your comments regarding this with our team to take into consideration for future displays in store."

However, a number of customers stood up for the supermarket, saying the joke lightened their day and encouraged them to come back to the store.

"So happy to see your staff have a great sense of humour," one customer wrote.

"Keep up the amazing work. PS this is one of my nephew's favourite jokes and it made his day to see it in a store.

"Dont worry about the 'offended' people. I think a lot more people would be offended if you took it down!"


Another customer supported the company, saying: "This brightened my day a bit.
Some humour is a great way to get people into the store, it worked for me."

The controversial sign comes just months after shoppers were outraged when a chocolate mud cake iced with the words "Special Person's Day" hit Woolworths supermarkets on Father's Day.

Shoppers were absolutely outraged when a chocolate mud cake iced with the words
Shoppers were absolutely outraged when a chocolate mud cake iced with the words "Special Person's Day" hit the supermarket's shelves. Photo / Facebook

A dad with a Down syndrome child found the joke offensive, writing: "This better be a sick joke on your behalf, if not this is really disrespectful."

A Woolworth's spokesperson said the "Special Person's Cake" wasn't the only cake available in stores for Father's Day and that the other cakes had been cropped out of the contentious photo.

"We want to reassure you that we're helping all customers across Australia celebrate Father's Day as seen from our store displays, products and recipe ideas," they wrote.

"Cropped out of this image are a range of decorative cakes that have different messages on them, including 'Dad' and 'Happy Father's Day'."