A young girl has been left traumatised after eating a Woolworths muesli bar from a soiled packet that was crawling with insects.
The six-year-old recoiled in shock on Sunday after biting into a choc chip muesli bar from the supermarket’s own brand, which her mum purchased from the Kwinana store, southwest of Perth.
“I opened the bar for her and two minutes later I heard her squeal. I went running out the back to find her spitting out her muesli bar and her saying ‘mummy there was something crawling on my lip in my mouth’,” her mum told Yahoo News Australia.
The parent’s biggest concern was what she believed to be bug waste at the bottom of the packet, fearing her daughter could become ill from the bacteria if she consumed any.
“The faeces at the bottom of the packet was my biggest concern really that it had all been ‘brewing’ in there for gosh knows how long,” she said.
“Kids happen to eat bugs all the time, I know that, however my concern was the bacteria forming in the packet while these insects lived in there.”
Her daughter was left notably scarred after the ordeal, which unfolded on Sunday afternoon.
“She already has a fear of bugs, so this has not helped at all. She told me she never wants to have a muesli bar again, and she was checking her roast dinner for ‘worms’ last night,” her mum said.
Woolworths responded offering a refund on the $1.90 product or a replacement, which the parent argued was an inadequate response.
“$1.90 isn’t exactly something to race down to the shop for, nor would I ever be buying that product again. I thought from a quality assurance prospective they would want to know and quite frankly take it seriously as these were sealed into the muesli bar,” she said.
“I’m sure my daughter wasn’t the only one out of a mass produced product to have found these.”
She contacted a health advice line following her daughter’s experience and was encouraged to monitor her for signs she ingested any waste bacteria.
Fortunately, the child didn’t develop any symptoms on Sunday evening or Monday.
“Food poisoning is nothing to overlook, especially in children. So I did find what felt like an automated follow up on the post [to Facebook], to be quite dry and dismissive of a much bigger issue,” she said.
Woolworths told Yahoo News Australia the incident appeared to be isolated.
“We take food safety very seriously and are disappointed to receive the customer’s report. We’ve contacted the customer for more information so we can look into the matter further,” they said.
“This appears to be an isolated incident, as we're unaware of any other reports on our muesli bars at this time. We encourage the customer to return the product back to their local store for a full refund.”
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