A woman in Auckland, New Zealand, was shocked to find dozens of insect larvae in her Tegel chicken meal. Amy Skeates discovered the maggots after cooking a frozen chicken meal, containing satay tenderloins from Tegel.
worm larva (Cochliomyia)
She said the maggots appeared to be baked into the sauce to add flavour to the chicken. The sight of the larvae made her want to vomit since she had already eaten most of her chicken dinner. Ms Skeates said she was sure that the Tegel chicken meal has not reached its expiration date. When she bought it at Countdown Lynfield, the chicken meal was packed inside a sealed container kept frozen.
She contacted Progressive Enterprises, which also owns Countdown Lynfield, after realizing she had eaten a tray of food with dozens of maggots. Ms Skeates was given a "very vague response."
After finding Countdown to be unsympathetic to the incident, she tried to reach Tegel. The company that manufactured the frozen chicken meal with maggots expressed grave concern on the matter. Tegel then offered her two $15 Tegel vouchers and an apology for her experience.
Tegel's head of quality control told her the insects she found in her chicken meal appeared to be mealworms and not maggots. However, the report could not be confirmed, according to the Herald.
Ms Skeates had not suffered any health complications but she felt "traumatised" by the ordeal. Based on reports, Countdown and Tegel representatives said they were currently investigating the maggot-filled chicken meal incident.
Entomologist Ruud Kleinpaste was asked to comment on the presence of mealworms or maggots in food and said they were "not bad for humans." He said he used to eat mealworms and taste better with a pinch of salt.
A spokesperson for Countdown, Kate Porter, said the company's main priority is food safety. Ms Porter confirmed that Ms Skeates contacted the company. The company is also aware that Tegel is investigating the matter and regards the case as "extremely rare" since they received no complaints in the past.
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