Aldi probes dead caterpillar in tomato tin

By Michael Stones contact

- Last updated on GMT

Hard to swallow: Stephanie Harris got a litle extra with her Aldi tomatoes
Hard to swallow: Stephanie Harris got a litle extra with her Aldi tomatoes

Related tags: Aldi

Discount retailer Aldi has been forced to apologise to a customer who found a dead caterpillar in one of its tomato tins.

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

The complaint:

“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

The response:

 “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

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1 comment

Caterpillar in canned tomatoes

Posted by Malcolm Kane,

There is a story here, but it's not about a caterpillar in a can of tomatoes.
The real story is about how far the British public have become dissociated from food as nature provides and instead dependent upon processed foods.Twigs, stalk, leave and yes, the odd caterpillar will be an occasional natural contaminant in processed food. The fact these are so occasional is actual proof of the efficiency of the industry in cleaning out such natural extraneous material. Filleted fish is not described as 'boneless', because it isn't...it's filleted, which removes MOST of the bones. All our food has some natural extraneous material as an occasional contaminant. We're lucky to be living in a Country that has such an excellent food industry supplying us with such consistent quality food. Now if you really want a stick to beat the food industry...how about excess salt, sugar, saturated fats...etc.

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