A mum said she was ‘disgusted’ after finding what she believes to be a clump of hair in an Aldi stew that she was serving to her son.
Jemma Gallimore from Holmes Chapel, says she was about to feed her 11-month-old son Fred Millard Mamia Beef Stew microwave meal when she came across an unknown item that she thought ‘”looked and felt like hair” in the food.
Aldi said its supplier has robust procedures to ensure foreign objects do not make their way into the product and said the item will be roots from vegetables but they are going to investigate it.
Thirty-year-old Jemma said she first found smaller strand of ‘hair’ before pulling a ‘massive chunk’ out from the gravy, leaving her terrified her son could have choked on the “big and furry” object, the Liverpool Echo reports.
She now wants to raise awareness of her ordeal as she fears other babies could choke if “vegetable roots” are in other tubs of the food, which she claims is still on the shelves in her local store.
Jemma said: “I was absolutely mortified. He will never have meals like that again. I’ll make sure of it.
“Fred had one spoon then looked like he wasn’t too sure about it, pulling the food out his mouth. I went to give him another one and saw a little ‘hair’ on it.
“I’d pulled that, then another and it pulled this massive chunk out. I thought ‘what the hell have I just fed my child?’
“How I didn’t even notice on the first one I’ve got no idea. It’s gross.
“The way that it is and how it feels, it feels like a horse mane. It was quite big and proper furry.
“It’s not what you expect in baby food. It’s the same size as an AA battery. It was probably about two and a half inches long to where it’s joined together.
“I put it to the side and thought ‘no way’. As I looked through the meal again there were all single ‘hairs’ in it.
“If you think about it realistically, he’s only little and he’s very lucky he has eight teeth and can literally annihilate food like no man’s business, but that could have choked him. Fred could still choke on that.”
After spotting the unwanted extra in Fred’s dinner, Jemma called her partner Mark Millard, 39, to tell him of the frightening find and later that evening, Jemma claims their son suffered a tummy upset.
Jemma said: “I immediately took it away. There’s no way I’m ever shopping in Aldi again.
“I rang Mark and I said ‘I’m absolutely disgusted’. I showed him and he was straight on to Aldi. He was on the phone to them before he even got home. Fred was up as well in the night with belly ache.
“I don’t know if he swallowed any and I can’t be 100% sure, but he had that at 5pm and woke up at 11.30pm screaming in pain.
“His belly was gurgling, you could hear it, so we gave him a bottle and some Nurofen and he settled back down.
“He doesn’t usually do that. He does have a dairy allergy so we watch everything he eats anyway.
“He’s okay now. It’s like whatever he’s eaten has given him that belly ache.”
Jemma has now urged Aldi to recall the item as she fears the ‘dangerous’ addition could cause another child to choke, after finding more of the meals still on the shelves.
Jemma said: “We sent the food back on Monday. We’ve grown potatoes for years and everything like that. I don’t believe it’s from a root.
“I actually nipped in there on Monday because I was curious to see if they still had it on the shelf and they did.
“I don’t understand why they don’t temporarily stop selling them. Surely for the sake of a couple of quid, it’d be worth saying ‘let’s just check it and make sure they’re all okay’.
“I think it’s a bit selfish really. Dangerous.
“It felt like hair and came away like hair. I’m excited to see what it is if they get it tested. We should have maybe got it tested ourselves privately.”
A spokesperson for Aldi said: “Our supplier has robust processes in place to prevent foreign objects from entering production and believes this to be part of a natural vegetable root.
“We have apologised to the customer that this product didn’t meet our usual high standards and have provided a full refund.”