Police guarding the Olympics were told to empty their crisps into plastic bags so they did not inadvertantly advertise brands which aren't sponsoring the games.
Officers who will be patrolling the Games' rowing events at Eton, Berks., were amazed when told by senior officers told them they must not be seen with snacks such as Walker's crisps or Ginsters pasties.
Thames Valley Police insisted that before going to the Olympic events officers, including Royal Protection guards, must empty their snacks into a clear polythene bag.
The top-level instruction, based on guidelines from the Games' London organisers, was designed to protect advertising by the official sponsors including Coca Cola, Cadbury's and McDonalds.
With the games being televised around the world, organising bigwigs have moved to stop any free advertising for firms which haven't forked out millions in sponsorship money.
The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) sent a directive to all forces involved in the policing of the Games to comply with the order.
It meant that Pc's protecting the millions of spectators expected to watch the events live at venues in and around London will be forced to empty their branded sandwiches, crisps and chocolate bars into unidentifiable packaging.
With just days to go until the opening ceremony of the biggest sporting event in the world, police officers were up in arms over the absurd rule.
A Police Federation member for Thames Valley Police, who are policing all rowing events for the Olympic and Paralypic Games at Dorney Lake, in Eton, Berks., said: "I'd like to see a security guard try to tell a police officer to empty his lunch into clear bags.
"They'd have to be very brave because the answer he'd get would be very short indeed."
A Thames Valley Police spokesman said in a statement: "We are expected to comply with LOCOG requirements and therefore are not expected to enter the venue with any goods that do not reflect sponsors.
"This position will be briefed to all officers and staff, although operational effectiveness and any response to an incident will always be our priority."
However, after LOCOG was made aware of the strict interpretation of their rules by Thames Valley Police chiefs and the discord of officers, they spoke to the police and issued clarification.
"The revised guidance amounts to a major climbdown by our top brass who have realised they were taking the 'no branding or advertising' rules a tad too literally," said one police officer involved in the Dorney Rowing Lake events.
"It is a victory for commonsense - but if we hadn't kicked up a fuss, they would have had us decanting our crisps and pop into unmarked containers."
A spokesman for LOCOG said that the rule had been put in place to stop unauthorised brands advertising at the Games and not to stop anyone enjoying the event.
The spokesman said: "We wouldn't want to tell people what they can bring into the venues and what they can't.
"There are rules about brands which are aimed around advertising but petty things like food products aren't the target of it.
"The rule is there to stop the advertising of brands who are not authorised Olympic brands."