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What to do? Human nail found in food.

(26 Posts)
alabasterangel Wed 13-Feb-13 20:52:59

Sorry, this is grim.

Tonight I made chickpea soup (something I make regularly). I used 3 tins of chickpeas from lidl. All the other ingredients were 'small particles' - marigold stock made with hot water, dried ground spices, fresh garlic, and a blob of fresh Creme fraiche on the top. Soup is roughly blitzed with a hand blender but still leaves loads of full chickpeas and is in no way smooth.

As it happens, I served myself a decent sized portion. Found something hard in my mouth, thought it might be a woody un-ground bit of cumin or whatever, pulled it out, turns out its a large human nail (looks like a toe nail). It's cut, not torn off, and slightly discoloured with turmeric which is another ingredient I added at the start. I only use .5 teaspoon turmeric so know that's not the source (this is BIG, it would have been very obvious on the teaspoon!) but its obviously therefore been in the cooking since early on to take on the colour.

I can only conclude its from the chickpeas. I can't think where else it came from, as in all the other ingredients it would have been noticeable.

What do I do to report this? Go to lidl? I don't want to be fobbed off, or for them to say it could have come from anything else I added but i really can't see how it did. I feel sick. It's a cut nail, so that makes it feel different (disgusting!!).

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 13-Feb-13 20:53:36

Well I would avoid eating it

SPBInDisguise Wed 13-Feb-13 20:53:59


Coconutty Wed 13-Feb-13 20:55:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HollyBerryBush Wed 13-Feb-13 20:55:16

Never go to the vendor go to Trading Standards - number will be on your council website

Bearandcub Wed 13-Feb-13 20:55:19

I would contact Lidl but not disclose the blending of ingredients.

JesusInTheCabbageVan Wed 13-Feb-13 20:56:34

If you're very sure it came from the chickpeas, you could be a bit economical with the truth and say it was floating on the top when you opeed the tin smile

What's the recipe, anyway? Sounds nice (minus the horny toenails).

LeaveTheBastid Wed 13-Feb-13 20:57:10

First of all, vomit.

Second, take pictures and bag it up, email them with pics and complaint but do not send it to them for them to make it disappear.

Grim, was thinking of making falafels tomorrow... Not looking likely!

IvorHughJangova Wed 13-Feb-13 20:57:23

Friend of mine found a toenail in a lasagne from Tesco (thinking about it, probably a horse lasagne, which won't make her feel any better!) and tweeted them about it. They said sorry. She said that wasn't good enough, and wrote Head Office a cross letter. They said sorry. She Facebooked them. They said sorry.

That was it.

I'm not even sure what I'd want if that happened to me, but their disinterest (they weren't very polite sorries) put me off the company way more than the toenail!

Abitwobblynow Wed 13-Feb-13 20:58:45

I found a ginger pubic hair in a packet of Tescos biscuits once. Eeeuw! Thanks for the Trading Standards tip.

This, and that, have to be deliberate contamination. Lucky thing it put me off biscuits for ever.

Leather Wed 13-Feb-13 20:59:28

Are you sure it wasn't in the pan before you started?
<hopeful that it might've been at least a family-related toenail>

LadyKinbote Wed 13-Feb-13 21:00:13

As everyone at the suppliers should be wearing blue gloves that is a very big deal! I worked for a retailer and sometimes foreign bodies were found in food but nothing like that. Sometimes though there was a foreign body that looked horrendous but when tested it turned out to be something completely different. Take a photo and send the foreign body to Lidl. If it is a nail I would expect at least £100 in apology!

SlowLooseChippings Wed 13-Feb-13 21:00:41

Abitwobbly - were they ginger nuts by any chance?! grin

BlackholesAndRevelations Wed 13-Feb-13 21:01:58

Bleurgh bleurgh bleurgh.

QOD Wed 13-Feb-13 21:02:51

That's utterly gross

surprised it wasn't a hoof

SoleSource Wed 13-Feb-13 21:04:51

SlowLoose hahaha

alabasterangel Wed 13-Feb-13 21:05:14

Thanks. Recipe ( bit put off for life, but anyway!)

2 tins drained chickpeas (three if you like a really thick soup) drained and warmed in about 450ml swiss marigold veg stock

In another pan warm a good dollop of butter, with 4 fat cloves of crushed garlic, and a tablespoon each of crushed and ground cumin seeds and coriander seeds and a small teaspoon of turmeric and as much flaked chillias you can handle/fancy (i use about half a teaspoon, can use a chopped fresh one). Cook in the butter lightly for about 5 mins. The smell is divine. Add a squeeze of lemon. Tip the lovely buttery herby garlicky chilli lemony stuff on top of the chickpeas and stock, and blitz with a hand blender until as lumpy or smooth as you want. Dollop of Creme fraiche. Yum. Very garlicky, try not to breathe on anyone the next morning. It's a deviation on a delia recipe, but after years of making it this seems to be the way that works for me best.

As for the nail.... Have bagged it up in a ziplock. Revolting. Think I'll call trading standards tomorrow..... Bleugh!

JesusInTheCabbageVan Wed 13-Feb-13 21:09:18

Lovely, thanks grin

Good luck with your toenail! If you don't get any joy, console yourself with the thought that somewhere in the world, there's bound to be a culture that looks on it as good luck to find a toenail in your food.

DontEvenThinkAboutIt Wed 13-Feb-13 21:12:14

You should phone your local Environmental Health Department (not trading standards)

alabasterangel Wed 13-Feb-13 21:12:40

And no, def not in the pan beforehand. For a start I get my toes trimmed courtesy of my chiropodist at the mo (long boring story and nothing indulgent) so not mine. Kiddies are too small. Pans had been through the dishwasher too, so hopefully sparking clean!

I drained the chickpeas in a sieve as the colander was in the dishwasher already, so could easily have stayed in with them and got put in the pan. Couldn't have been in the liquid stock (floater?!) too big to be in the turmeric, cumin and coriander ground in a pestle and mortar, garlic fresh, Creme fraiche.... Well,maybe....but only dolloped on when serving and this nail is discoloured yellowish like its been cooking in the turmeric coloured soup. Fairly certain (99%) it's the chickpeas.

MrsLion Thu 14-Feb-13 03:42:46

I work in the food industry- you definitely need to tell them. Actually if you wang them to take action, that you send in the toenail and packaging.
If they manufacture this themselves, they will see the batch number and know the shift staff and supervisor when the product was manufactured so can discipline accordingly.

If they had the product made by another manufacturer then they can complain to them or even change suppliers if this kind of 'foreign object' problem has occured before.

I am living overseas at the moment - not in the uk, but here we would absolutely NOT 'lose' things like this. Highly unprofessional and just plain stupid. They are dealt with immediately and customer receives vouchers, product, apology etc

MrsLion Thu 14-Feb-13 03:45:02

want them to take action it's best to send in the toenail and packaging

MrsLion Thu 14-Feb-13 03:46:33

Btw I am not based in Europe nor do I work for a meat company grin

Trazzletoes Thu 14-Feb-13 03:59:24

My son (2 at the time) got a bit of fingernail in his mouth from a Morrisons cake last year.

It took tons of chasing up but eventually got a half-arsed apology and £20 vouchers. Interesting that between the time of the cake being produced (for their fresh bakery range) and them investigating my complaint, they had stopped using that supplier so could not investigate how the nail got there when gloves should have been worn hmm convenient, that.

Abitwobblynow Thu 14-Feb-13 05:43:58

Chipping - arf!

But it was really disgusting. Some low life not washing his hands (my phobia), or scratching his bollocks, and...

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