/ Food & Drink, Health, Shopping

What alien objects have you found in your food?


Today Mars has issued a Europe-wide recall, including in the UK, after plastic was found in Mars and Snickers chocolate bars. Have you made any weird or gross food discoveries?

Mars has advised in a statement earlier today that the affected products shouldn’t be eaten, further information is not yet available as the company’s website is unresponsive.

The recall, across 55 countries, currently affects all Mars, Snickers, Milky Way Minis and miniatures, and certain packs of Celebrations.

The UK’s Food Standards Agency has advised against eating the affected products, and to contact Mars’ consumer care team on 0800 952 0084, recall@uk.mars.com, or by post at Mrsa R1, FREEPOST, Mars Consumer Care.

Now, I don’t know about you, but when I sit there and think about the number of times I’ve found some unexpected objects lurking in my food or drink, I’m surprised that I’m even prepared to consume anything outside of the confines of my own home.

Apparently quality control is this great safety net to make sure the food we consume won’t throw up any surprises… or worse, cause us harm. But things do slip through the net.

Food discoveries

Last summer, a friend of mine purchased a supermarket ready-made salad; she was all ready to tuck into her tasty (healthy) looking salad when she found a slimy little critter tucked under one of the salad leaves. It was a live snail, albeit a bit of extra protein, it fully put her off of her lunch.

Now, I’ve found hairs before, but I’ve not had anything living crop up in my grub – unwashed salad has chucked up the odd dead slug, but I do sort of expect this to happen with fresh fruit and veg, just maybe not a ready to eat salad though.

But, on a slightly more serious note, I’ve found a more hazardous object before. I once bought a drink which had a bit of a rattle in the bottle, I peered into the drink where I then spotted a small shard of glass. Realising how dangerous this was I went straight back to the retailer.

What’s in your food?

Health hazards like this usually result in a recall of products, as with today’s recall of Mars and Snickers bars.

That’s not to say that a slimy grimy snail in your salad isn’t a health hazard – any added unsuspected objects could be a hazard. That’s in addition to not being very pleasant, or what you’ve paid for.

So have you had any strange unexpected objects in your food before? What did you do?


How could this happen? I thought the UK was not in the Schengen agreement and here is an illegal immigrant finding its way through our border security from a non-EU state. Shocking is not the word. This could be a killer bee posing a terrorist threat.

Tesco should be heavily fined for this offence, as should the airline for not checking passengers properly.

How many more economic migrant bees are there on the other side of the channel just waiting for more shipments of raspberries? We don’t have enough hives here for them. They must bee sent back to Morocco.

It’s not just Tesco. Last year someone claims to have found a slug in raspberries from Marks & Spencer: http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/liverpool-woman-horrified-after-finding-9589471

I did not see anything in the fresh fruit salad I made this morning, but I will check carefully to see if anything is moving….

Eric Mansfield says:
25 March 2016

Many years ago I bought a tin of Hartleys plums bearing the tag ‘Pick the best, Hartleys do’. The first fruit had a couple of large caterpillars sticking out of it. I wrote to Hartleys asking if these caterpillars were also of the best quality. A week or so later a box containing a wide selection of Hartleys products arrived with an apology. You don’t get that kind of response these days.
Eric Mansfield.

Recently opened a tub of lurpak spreadable.the spread contained what looked like paper.i wrote a letter to arla, who make lurpak.they said it was onion skin,but we’re no further help or explanation given.i spoke to ASDA,where I bought the spread,they were more help full, they wished I had gone to them first,so they could send it to their own lab.they gave me a free tub.

i opened a jar of Marmalade bought from Lidl and what looks like an insect was inside the jar, i took photos and sent of the receipts etc to lidls and they now want me to pack up the jar and post it back to them, i dont know what to do, the jar with the (whatever it is ) is still in my fridge

I assume that Lidl would like to see the evidence because sadly there are some who deliberately contaminate products to gain compensation or for other unfair reasons. It might be worth contacting the Environmental Health department of your local council, which should be able to offer useful advice. It would be interesting to know the outcome.

i might just do that and will let you know,

I’d suggest Lidl will want to investigate the problem with their supplier. As well as determining what the beast is that lurks in the marmalade the jar will give them information relating to manufacture.

Did the lid ‘pop’ you opened the jar, Hazel? I would take a guess and suggest if the airtight seal was intact then the intruder must have made its way in there in the factory. It would be difficult for a tamperer to duplicate seal a jar shut properly afterwards.

How am i supposed to pack up a full jar of Marmalade and take it to the post office? i give them the bar code , photos of the receipt plus photos of the beast inside the jar, its not a tiny beast its bigger than a wasp but im not going to look closer at it even if it is dead ,, i sure wont be eating Marmalade again

Your local Lidl store might take care of returning the jar for you, Hazel.

Many years ago I bought a tin of red salmon sold under a well known brand name. It was full of skin and looked quite disgusting. I stuck a sprig of parsley on it as per the ‘serving suggestion’ and sent a photo of it alongside the nice photo on the can. They did not reply and I have avoided the brand since.

The jar was airtight so i just dont know how it got in there

The stupid thing is , i was asked to post it to the head office not bring it into the store where i bought it, i asked on the email if someone would phone me but no not an answer so far , well im not going to buy packing etc to wrap up a jar of Marmalade

It might be something for Which? staff to chew on, Hazel. Here is a video showing one of the wacky things they have got up to: https://conversation.which.co.uk/food-drink/eating-insects-would-you-eat-edible-bugs/ Make sure you watch the video.

I’m sure Lidl. if asked, should reimburse you for the expense in returning the jar. You’ll only need a bit of bubble wrap or plenty of newspaper, with an outer wrap – a bit of brown paper say. If your post office is not far away, near where you shop, it would help Lidl and, in turn, other consumers. I’d suggest you send it recorded delivery. At least you’ll know it has got there instead of being lost in a store.

Watched the Video, Thanks but no Thanks i would go hungry first

:-). Wait until you find ones that wriggle. 🐜

I phoned the environmental health yesterday and i was asked to send him photos , i got a reply to say it look,s like some sort of flying insect as you can see a wing and the best bet is to bring it into my local Lidl store and fill in a form and get them to send it to the head office, he is not prepared to call out and look at it , all i want is to know what this thing is so i may just go into Lidl tomorrow and see what they say, It did only cost 99p so im not bothered about getting another jar as i wouldn’t want it , all i want to know is what this insect is and how can things like this get into food, will let you know what happen,s , im sure it will be just put in the bin.

That is disappointing, Hazel, and my approach would be to take the jar to EH and ask them to provide written feedback. Our local EH sent someone to look at my local supermarket when I made a complaint about the cleanliness of food chillers. Action was taken, albeit not as quickly as I had hoped.

Sadly, it is not possible to completely avoid food contamination. I hope that all cases are logged and multiple incidents are taken up with the manufacturer, but do not know if this does happen.

If you are not put off marmalade then maybe avoid the varieties with chunky bits for the time being. 🙂

Take back to the store Tell them to send it back to head office It’s the stores responsiblty

Contamination Expreriences….
Slug in school dinners salad……well one half!!!!!!!!!!!
Fly in beans from H…z was proved to have been in the saucepan when the can was emptied into it.
Metal Swarf in canned carrots in a steak restaurant . Found faulty can opener in the kitchen
Glass in bread. Wife hoovered it up before the bakery rep could collect it.
Plastic piece from water bottle found in Lasagne in local Italian restaurant.
Identified fraudster complaining of rotten turkey that never arrived in the post…funny that and she tried the same with three other companies the same week.
Now doing work for the biggest supplier of special detectable plastics in the world used in the food industry.
Makes pens and scrapers, earplugs and masks, gloves and………..loads of other stuff that can be seen by metal detectors and X-ray inspection.
I am trying to help ……….

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Thanks Duncan. Unpleasant tales like this may help us waken up to the fact that major changes are needed to put an end to burying our waste or putting it in the oceans.