Human tooth found in Tesco sausages


Tesco Extra

After yesterday's report of a bloodied syringe found in a loaf from Tesco, today we hear that a human tooth has been found in a packet of sausages from Tesco in Sheerness, Kent.

So how could this happen, and what are your rights when something weird shows up in your food?

The tooth

Tony Hinds, 27, told the Daily Mail of his grisly find back in August last year. He said he bought a packet of Tesco Finest Pork and Chive sausages, and when he and his 21-year-old fiancee Lauren Gooch opened the packet, they discovered a human tooth - complete with filling.

According to the Metro newspaper, Hinds claimed his fiancee had been very distressed. He said: "She was really angry about the whole thing and she didn't touch a sausage for about a month after that."

The supermarket sent the tooth off for analysis, and wrote to Hinds in September apologising for the 'piece of bone' found in the sausages. They also sent £15 in vouchers to compensate for the shock.

Hinds didn't feel this went far enough so he wrote back asking for confirmation it was a human tooth. The supermarket confirmed this, but said it couldn't clarify how the tooth had made its way into the sausages. It also sent another £10 voucher.

Tesco said in a statement that it was confident that the tooth was not in the sausage when it arrived in the store, as the supplier used metal detectors on everything leaving the factory - which would have been set off by the tooth.

Your rights

As we reported yesterday, there are plenty of instances when odd things show up in food. Mice seem to be the most common surprising find, but there have been instances where pieces of metal, nails, and in one case a live frog, have found their way into packets and tins.

There are rare cases when someone gets serious compensation. In September 2010 Stephen Forse received £17,000 from Premier Foods after finding a dead mouse in a loaf of bread. They accepted that they had not maintained acceptable standards at their bakery, and he took them to court for the payout.

In most cases, especially ones where it's difficult to know where the blame lies, the compensation is somewhat less impressive. All the retailer has to do under the Sale of Goods Act is to offer a refund or replacement. In most cases they will offer a goodwill gesture too. The £25 offered to Hinds is not unusual.

Of course, if you can find a newspaper to pay you some money for a story then that's a useful bonus too.

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