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Beetle found in ready made meal

PUBLISHED: 19:46 26 November 2001 | UPDATED: 10:54 03 March 2010

IF Rebecca Holland had found a fly in her soup she wouldn't have been so appalled.

But when she bit through a hard, black beetle, which she claims was buried in a Tesco ready-made meal, the horrified Ipswich legal secretary felt she had cause to complain.

IF Rebecca Holland had found a fly in her soup she wouldn't have been so appalled.

But when she bit through a hard, black beetle, which she claims was buried in a Tesco ready-made meal, the horrified Ipswich legal secretary felt she had cause to complain.

It was while tucking into spinach and ricotta cannelloni with mixed leaf rocket side salad that Miss Holland says she felt something hard in her mouth.

She claims that first she spat out a shiny piece of shell and then, to the horror of her partner John, 31, sitting across the dinner table, the rest of the dead bug emerged.

"It was revolting. I had a mouthful of food but I bit into something really hard and spat it out," said Miss Holland of Speckled Wood Close, Ipswich.

"But I still had something hard in my mouth so I spat the rest out, looked down and went oh no it's a beetle.

"I just ran into the kitchen, I was gagging and retching. I drank loads of water but I felt I could still feel it in my mouth."

It is unclear whether the unwelcome addition to the meal had been hiding in the salad or the pasta dish but as both were Tesco's own brand products she and her partner marched straight down to the superstore on the Copdock Mill Interchange to vent their concern.

"Obviously I was upset. I couldn't believe I had had this in my mouth and actually bitten part of it off but when I told the manager he seemed almost disinterested," she claimed.

"I was upset but he made me almost more angry."

Fuming Miss Holland claims she was not even offered an apology and that staff looked bored rather than concerned at her complaint.

"I'm appalled they treat customers like that when something goes wrong," she said.

It has now been more than a week since she says she found the bug and with no contact from the store her patience is wearing thin.

She says she posted a strongly worded letter to the stores head office last Friday and hasn't even received acknowledgement of receipt.

"We were good customers, John travels to Norfolk everyday and we bought all our petrol form there as well as our weekly shop. In fact I would say that the second largest chunk of our income, after our mortgage, went to Tesco. But it won't any more."

A spokeswoman for Tesco said: "We were very concerned to learn of Rebecca Holland's complaint. Produce quality and safety are of top priority at all times.

"This is an isolated incident however are treating the matter very seriously and we are currently investigating with our suppliers before writing back to Miss Holland."

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