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Mum’s warning after finding parasitic wasp in Walkden KFC ricebox

A mum has warned local residents to check their food after she was served a wasp in a takeaway box from a Kentucky Fried Chicken in Walkden.

Michele Carey, 44, visited the Ellesmere Centre on Thursday 31 March at around 5.30pm, picking up a BBQ pulled chicken ricebox for herself and a burger for her 15-year-old son.

She had taken her son to the chicken chain as a treat and did not open the food until she’d returned home.

Michele said: “I bought my son his tea and his was okay, but when I opened mine I started eating then saw this red insect.

“I screamed and dropped the box, but then I took photos of it, I’ve never seen anything like it before, it was disgusting.”

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The 2.5cm (1-inch) creature was already dead by the time Michele opened her meal.

It is believed to be a yellow ophion ichneumon wasp, which has been found in supermarket salads in the UK already this year.

If picked up the insects can sting, but their venom is similar to the common wasp, and is not seriously harmful to humans.

The salad for the ricebox is produced by a KFC supplier, and that’s where the insect is thought to have been accidentally packaged up and entered the food chain.

Pictured: Half a dead frozen mouse found in Little Hulton supermarket cabbage

In its most recent Food Standards inspection KFC Walkden received a ‘5’ grade – the highest possible mark.

In a statement KFC told SalfordOnline.com they had apologised to Ms Carey and offered a voucher by way of recompense.

An email from the company’s Surrey head office to Michele reads: “Thank you for taking the time to get in touch with us here at KFC. We love to hear from our customers as it helps us to focus on the things that matter most.

“This short note is just to let you know that we have received your comments and a response is on its way.

“As a gesture of goodwill we will be sending a voucher to the address that you provided, which can be used in any of our restaurants and is valid for the next three months.”

But Michele said she would boycott KFC in future.

“I wouldn’t ever want to eat there and I won’t be buying food from them again.

“The thought of it just makes me sick.

“I’ll make food for my son at home instead.

“It’s really put me off buying takeaways altogether.”

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A KFC spokesperson added: “We’re really sorry for Michele’s experience and our customer care team will be in touch to offer her a gesture of goodwill as an apology.

“Our Riceboxes are prepared fresh in store everyday and very occasionally things like this can happen when dealing with natural produce.”

Salford City Council environmental health inpsectors are expected to visit KFC in the coming weeks.

A spokesman for Salford City Council said: “Complaints should always be taken up with managers at the premises first to give them a chance to sort it out, unless there is a more serious potential public health issue.

“Then they should contact us at Environmental Health.

“We record all complaints so we build up a picture of whether it’s a one off incident or if the premises has a history of problems.

More detailed advice is available online here

If you have an envionmental health complaint to make please call Salford City Council on 0161 909 6500.

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Tom is SalfordOnline.com's News Editor and community co-ordinator.