An Australian publisher had to destroy and reprint thousands of copies of a food book because of a misprint that some people may find offensive. A pasta recipe called for "salt and freshly ground black people."
Of course, it was supposed to be "pepper" in the recipe in the "Pasta Bible." Editors at Penguin Group Australia didn't catch the mistake before printing and sending out the book. The 7000 copies not sent out were destroyed and new ones printed, at a cost of nearly $20,000.
The company will not recall books already in stores, saying it would be "extremely hard" to do.
The head of publishing for Penguin Australia, Bob Sessions, said he could not understand why some readers had found the slip offensive. "We're mortified that this has become an issue of any kind and why anyone would be offended, we don't know," he told the Sydney Morning Herald.
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"It's called the Pasta Bible, almost every recipe has ground black pepper in it, mostly in the same place [on each page]. In one particular recipe [a] misprint occurs which obviously came from a spell checker. When it comes to the proofreader, of course they should have picked it up, but proofreading a cookbook is an extremely difficult task. I find that quite forgivable."
While the books won't be recalled, the company will replace them at readers' requests.
"We've said to bookstores that if anyone is small minded enough to complain about this very ... silly mistake then we will happily replace [the book] for them," Sessions said.