South Yorkshire shopper Stephanie Harris discovered the deceased insect in a tin of Sweet Harvest tomatoes. Harris complained on Aldi’s Facebook page: “Most people get spiders, snakes etc. I get a caterpillar!”
‘A living breathing leopard gecko’
Harris jokily requested “a living breathing leopard gecko next”. The shopper ended her Facebook post with a plea for a “real live pet”.
Aldi UK’s Facebook team apologised and promised a member of the team will look into how the tomato tin came to be contaminated with the dead caterpillar. See the full Facebook correspondence in the blue box below.
A spokesman for the discounter retailer told FoodManufacture.co.uk: “Aldi insists on the highest standards from our suppliers and we monitor all customer feedback in relation to our products and services.
“We have apologised to the customer and as a gesture of goodwill provided her with a £10 gift voucher.”
Found a live caterpillar
Meanwhile, this is not the first time rogue caterpillars have contaminated food products. In September 2013 Tesco apologised to a woman who found a live caterpillar in a bacon and lettuce sandwich, bought from one of its stores in St Leonards, East Sussex.
Three years earlier a consumer found a dehydrated caterpillar in a Bird’s Eye chargrilled chicken steak.
Last year, a Waitrose shopper discovered one of the world’s deadliest arachnids – a Brazilian Wandering Spider – in a bunch of banannas.
Also last year, a Morrisons’ shopper found a tongue-eating parasite in a portion of sea bass.
Canned caterpillar Facebook posts
“Most people get spiders, snakes etc. I get a caterpillar!! Come on aldi, can I have a living breathing leopard gecko next, poor Cecil drowned in tomato juice! (btw nobody could have saved Cecil cos the poor thing was in a tinned Tom I chopped open, aldi have been lovely, but I wanted a real live pet.”
- Stephanie Harris
“Thanks for the post. We're really sorry to see this! Please could you private message us your contact details and the store you bought it from and a member of the team will be sure to look into this for you. Thanks again ...”
- Aldi UK Facebook Team