COUNTY NEWS: Dad who choked on rubber found in food feared for life

Wayne Snow, with a photo of the piece of rubber
Wayne Snow, with a photo of the piece of rubber

A Sussex father who said he almost choked on a piece of rubber found in a supermarket-bought dip is demanding reassurance that it will not happen again.

Wayne Snow, of Middle Road in Shoreham, went to the Tesco Extra store at the Holmbush Centre, Shoreham, to do his regular shop.

I thought I was going to choke to death

Wayne Snow

Back home, he said he opened a Tesco-branded sour cream and chive dip and began eating it with some Pringles.

He said: “I felt something in my throat which wasn’t going down.”

Wayne said he began choking and struggling, and tried to dislodge the item while his girlfriend and 13-year-old son, who were with him, ‘freaked out’.

“I thought I was going to choke to death,” the 42-year-old said.

Wayne said that when he managed to cough up the item, he found it was a two-inch long piece of black rubber.

“I couldn’t believe it,” he said.

“It was quite distressing.”

Since the incident, Wayne says he has suffered from a sore throat and has had to seek medical attention, including a visit to the ear, nose and throat specialist at Worthing Hospital.

“My throat hasn’t been the same since,” he said.

The following day, Wayne said he returned to the store to complain, but said of the staff: “They didn’t apologise and they didn’t take it seriously.”

Wayne said he was given a £5 Tesco voucher and a free dip.

“It’s not really good enough, because of what I’ve had to go through,” he said, adding that he feared it could have happened to a small child.

Deciding to take the matter further, he contacted Tesco’s head office, who told him in a letter the item was ‘almost certainly’ a piece of plastic cable used to seal ingredients.

Wayne said: “They need to sort out what’s going on in their factories and make sure it doesn’t happen again.

“The way they dealt with it, it’s almost like it was a usual thing to happen.”

He said he is still waiting for Tesco to contact him with a resolution and is considering taking legal action.

A spokesperson for Tesco said: “There’s nothing more important than the safety of our products so we were sorry to hear about this incident.

“We’re investigating how this may have happened with our supplier and we’ll update Mr Snow with our findings.”

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