Tuesday 17 July 2018

'I’ll be peeling and chopping my own carrots in future' - Mum-of-four claims packet of Irish Tesco carrots smelled of bleach

The pack of carrot batons bought by Yvonne Garvey on January 1.
The pack of carrot batons bought by Yvonne Garvey on January 1.
Geraldine Gittens

Geraldine Gittens

A Tesco customer has claimed that a packet of carrot batons she bought recently in Dublin smelled of bleach.

Yvonne Garvey from Dublin bought the pack of carrots on January 1 in Tesco Roselawn, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15.

The carrots were still in date, and when she went home and opened the packet, she realised something was amiss.

Yvonne’s dog Chewie wouldn’t eat the carrot stick as he normally does, and when she went to taste it, she claims she felt a burning sensation.

Tesco Ireland has said this is the first such complaint it has received.

“This is the first complaint received in relation to this product… our procedure is to retrieve the product and conduct a full investigation. This is now underway.”

“We will continue to monitor this product for any additional complaints or concerns and will take appropriate action pending the results of our investigation.”

Yvonne, who lives with her husband and four children, told Independent.ie claims she smelled bleach when she examined the product.

“I rang Tesco immediately as soon as I realised there was something wrong. I took a carrot out and went to give it to my dog and he wouldn’t touch it. I said to him ‘what’s wrong, and he just walked away’.”

“I took a bite myself and immediately I could feel a burn. I took it out of my mouth and smelled the packet and immediately it smelled of bleach, my son thought it was petrol, but I thought it was bleach,” she told Independent.ie.

“I rang them and said ‘can you make sure to take them off the shelf?’. And he said ‘are you bringing it back? We can give you a refund.”

“But I wanted them to see that this could be serious. So I emailed Tesco. Two days later I got a reply saying ‘you need to get in contact with your Irish branch, and I felt like it was said with no urgency, no care.”

After several attempts to contact Tesco Ireland, the company finally offered to take the product away for tests.

“I emailed them separately again twice and I got a reply to say ‘we’re very sorry, please return the product’.”

“I always buy the carrot batons because I like to use them with humus and I find them convenient. These are pre-prepared, pre-washed and I don’t have to do anything with them. But never again, I’ll be peeling and chopping my own carrots in future.”

“It’s more worrying than anything else, the lack of care. I believe that this is dangerous. Everyone who has smelled it thought ‘what the hell’.”

In a response to Independent.ie, a spokesperson for Tesco Ireland said it is collecting the carrots to conduct a full investigation.

“At Tesco, we set ourselves the highest standards for our products and were concerned to hear of this customer’s complaint. This is the first complaint received of this nature in relation to this product.”

“Our normal procedure is to retrieve the product immediately and conduct a thorough investigation with our quality team and suppliers.  We recognise that this didn’t happen in this instance and we have been in contact with Ms Garvey to apologise and to offer her a full refund and gesture of goodwill with our apologies.”

“We are in the process of collecting the product to conduct a full investigation. We have reminded our customer service colleagues of our product quality policies to help ensure this doesn’t happen again,” the spokesperson added.

Ms Garvey said she has been informed by Tesco that the test results can take seven to ten working days to be returned.

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