Mother finds bloodied syringe in loaf from Tesco

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A court has heard that a mother found a used, bloodied syringe in a loaf she had bought from Tesco. She was making a sandwich for her 10-year-old son at the time, and she was said to have been very distressed by the discovery.

In this instance, it turned out that the needle had been pushed through the wrapper while the bread was on the shelf. So how does this stack up in the list of oddities that have found themselves onto supermarket shelves?


The case

The Daily Mail reported that David Rodgers, a 61 year old grandfather from Salford, admitted he had pushed the needle through the wrapper while it was on the shelf of Tesco Express in Pendleton, Greater Manchester. The mother bought the loaf later that day, found the needle and handed it to police. They used DNA tracing to track down Rodgers.

Manchester Magistrates' Court heard that Rodgers pleaded guilty to contaminating the loaf with intent to cause public alarm. He said he couldn't explain why he had done it, he was just trying to hide the fact he was taking heroin again from his wife.

The Telegraph reported that a Tesco spokesman said: "We have been working closely with the police throughout their investigation and on behalf of our customers are pleased that this has been resolved."


It's a strange case, made stranger by the fact that Rodgers can't account for his actions. There's no doubt that finding a bloodied syringe in a loaf must have been truly alarming. But this mother isn't the only one to have stumbled across the surreal in her groceries.

We reported in September last year how Katie Crabtree, a 31 -year-old mother-of-two from Stockport, bit into a dead, sliced, rodent tucked into a Tesco sandwich. She complained to the store and to head office, and was eventually given £10 compensation.

In August last year in the US, a man filed a law suit against the Subway chain after he found a serrated knife baked into the bread of his sandwich. The company settled the matter out of court.

In September 2010, Oxford Crown Court heard the gruesome story of when Stephen Forse from Oxfordshire found a dead mouse embedded in a loaf of bread. He had already used a few slices of the bread, bought in January 2009, when he made the discovery. Premier Foods, which manufactured the bread, was fined £5,500 and ordered to pay £11,109.47 in costs.

In 2009, Cate Barrett from St Austell, Cornwall, found a dead mouse in a jar of Asda Extra Special curry sauce. She made the discovery after preparing the dinner and noticing that the sauce was 'more lumpy than usual'.

In 2008 a bride-to-be from Lincoln was rushed to hospital after eating a one inch nail buried in her Tesco Value macaroni cheese. 21-year-old Rebecca Shorten said she found three nails in her meal - but was too late to avoid eating the first. She was kept in while the nail passed through her system.

Then, of course, there is the horse meal burger scandal that continues to reverberate around supermarkets and fast food chains across the country. It seems that these rogue foreign bodies aren't always so easy to spot.
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