A Birmingham doctor was left 'close to vomiting' when a 'fleshy' mass he fears could be 'rat or mouse' slipped out of a pack of M&S vegetable rice he was planning to dine on.
Grant Bishop, who works at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in the city, had designs on a quick meal before going to bed to be fresh for another long shift the next day.
But when he realised the golden vegetable rice wasn't separating as usual, he emptied the packet onto his plate, where the stomach-churning 'mouldy lump' landed with a 'thud'.
The smell was 'horrendous', Grant told BirminghamLive.
He said: "I work as a Doctor at the QE and had just finished a long shift, so decided to whip up something quick so I could eat and sleep ready for the next day.
"I cooked the rice packet in the microwave and felt that the rice wasn't breaking up like it usually does – then opened it fully and poured it out onto my plate. The lump landed with a thud which was the first thing to catch my attention, and then the smell was just horrendous. That's when I realised something wasn't right.
"There was a black and brown bit and then a dark red bit – the brown patch looked just like cooked meat, and the red bit like minced meat you'd buy from the supermarket – only with mould all over it.
"I imagine it had partially cooked in the microwave as the instructions weren't meant for cooking carcass."
He immediately contacted the retailer, where he was assured no meat was processed in the factory the rice came from.
But Grant, who bought the rice from the M&S Foodhall in Selly Oak, said he had rejected the store's offer of a £5 voucher and said the issue 'wasn't being taken seriously enough'.
He fears the mass could be the remains of a rat or mouse. The packet of rice was within its 'use by' date, of February 2022.
The doc continued: "M&S responded saying it looked like mould and offered me a voucher which ended up being £5. I rejected that and said I'd like to escalate it further as I was concerned it wasn't being taken seriously enough, especially as this could be meat – rat? Mouse?.
"I don't want money – I want answers and to be confident that the rest of the batch isn't also contaminated."
An M&S spokesman said: "Our customer service team is in touch with Mr Bishop and have asked for the product to be returned so our food technologists can carry out further investigations."
But Grant added that he's keeping a section of the mystery substance 'to potentially send to a private lab to analyse as I'm not sure I entirely trust M&S to not just dispose of it and claim it had been analysed.'
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