A Birmingham doctor was left sickened after allegedly finding a lump of ‘rotting red meat’ inside a pack of supermarket vegetable rice.
Grant Bishop was preparing himself a quick evening meal after finishing a long shift at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
But he was left ‘close to vomiting’ after making the gruesome discovery in a packet of Marks and Spencer’s golden vegetable rice.
After microwaving the rice he emptied the packet onto his plate, where the stomach-churning ‘mouldy lump’ landed with a ‘thud’.
The smell was ‘horrendous’, Grant told BirminghamLive.
“I’m no mould expert but I am a doctor and this looks remarkably like flesh,” he added.
He immediately contacted the retailer, where he was assured no meat was processed in the factory the rice came from.
But Grant, who bought the rice from the M&S Foodhall in Selly Oak, said he had rejected the store’s offer of a £5 voucher and said the issue ‘wasn’t being taken seriously enough’.
He fears the mass could be the remains of a rat or mouse. The packet of rice was within its ‘use by’ date, of February 2022.
Grant told BirminghamLive: “I work as a Doctor at the QE and had just finished a long shift, so decided to whip up something quick so I could eat and sleep ready for the next day.
“I cooked the rice packet in the microwave and felt that the rice wasn’t breaking up like it usually does – then opened it fully and poured it out onto my plate. The lump landed with a thud which was the first thing to catch my attention, and then the smell was just horrendous. That’s when I realised something wasn’t right.
“There was a black and brown bit and then a dark red bit – the brown patch looked just like cooked meat, and the red bit like minced meat you’d buy from the supermarket – only with mould all over it. I imagine it had partially cooked in the microwave as the instructions weren’t meant for cooking carcass.
“I took the pictures, tried their customer line but it was closed, so took to Twitter hoping their social media was still working. In that time people had commented what they thought it could be and made helpful suggestions as to what to do with it.
“M&S responded saying it looked like mould and offered me a voucher which ended up being £5. I rejected that and said I’d like to escalate it further as I was concerned it wasn’t being taken seriously enough, especially as this could be meat – rat? Mouse?.
“I don’t want money – I want answers and to be confident that the rest of the batch isn’t also contaminated. Unfortunately this isn’t the only packet I bought, but it is the last – so I already ate the others I brought home.
“They ‘reassured’ me that there was no meat processed in the factory where the rice came from, which wasn’t all that reassuring at all.
“I kept pestering and they have asked for the sample and packet, which I plan to send off tomorrow. I have kept some behind to send to potentially send to a private lab to analyse as I’m not sure I entirely trust M&S to not just dispose of it and claim it had been analysed.”
An M&S spokesman said: “Our customer service team is in touch with Mr Bishop and have asked for the product to be returned so our food technologists can carry out further investigations.”
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