A Countdown customer says he got a nasty surprise after opening a packet of gouda cheese bought at the weekend to find a large mould growth on the slices.

Jamie Martin posted photos to the Hibiscus Coast Facebook page with the blurb: "Countdown Silverdale lift your game ... purchased this cheese on the weekend with a 'best before' 26 Nov 2016 on the pack ... upon opening had a little penicillin farm included ... all at no extra charge!"

The photos appeared to be of mouldy cheese. The Dairyworks Gouda Natural Slices packet it was in was packed on May 26 this year and has a best before date of November 26, 2016.

Martin said on Facebook he would be taking the cheese back to the store.


Countdown spokeswoman Kate Porter said she was sorry to hear the product wasn't up to standard.

"If a customer is unhappy with any product they buy from Countdown we encourage them to take it back to a Countdown store in the first instance.

"Our 'Fresh or Free' guarantee means that we will replace any unsuitable product and also provide customers with a full refund."

Taking the product back to the store also gave Countdown the opportunity to work out how it had come to be sold.

"Any product that is returned to store which doesn't meet the expected standard would be investigated with the supplier.

"Unfortunately we haven't been given the opportunity to do that in this instance, but will review it further as soon as we have the details."

Dairyworks general manager Peter Cross said it took product quality very seriously and extended his apologies to the customer.

"The quality of our products is paramount. I apologise to the customer that this has occurred.

"If they return the product, they will be able to get a full refund. If they get in touch with us, we will be able to do a full investigation into why this problem occurred."