Mum left ‘gut-wrenchingly sick’ after worms spilled out of Asda roast chicken

A woman has been left feeling “gut-wrenchingly sick” after dozens of worms spilled out of her Asda roast chicken – and only after her family had eaten it.

Vanessa Lucas-Smith, 44, served up the “succulent extra tasty small whole chicken in a bag” for her ex-hubby and their two kids last week.

But when her ex went to help himself to more of the £4.40 chicken, he apparently discovered the creatures spilling out of it. Stomach-churning images appear to show more than a dozen dead insects swimming in the chicken juice.

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Asda says the creatures are the larvae of the litter beetle, also known as the darkling beetle or lesser mealworms, which can harbour various pathogens, including salmonella, e-coli and avian flu. It’s thought they managed to hitch a ride onto the family’s dinner table because part of the chicken’s stomach wasn’t removed during the manufacturing process.

Vanessa, who lives on the Isle of Dogs, London, said: “I was cooking a normal family dinner for me and my two kids. The kids’ dad had come down from Preston to visit them so I thought I’d do a roast because everyone likes that.

“I cooked the dinner as normal and got all the bits and pieces like potatoes and cauliflower cheese and I cut up the chicken and initially didn’t notice anything. So I cut the chicken, served it out and we all ate the chicken, which I now feel gut-wrenchingly sick about. And then my ex-partner went through to the kitchen for a bit more, then he carved it up and discovered the stomach.

“We looked closer and at first I thought it was full of maggots but then we realised it was full of mealworms, and you can see chicken grain in there, too. We opened the stomach up a bit and all the mealworms came out. It was so revolting. They all stayed intact despite being cooked. It was rank, it was really disgusting.”

Vanessa, who’s mum to Daniel Lucas-Smith, 2, and Cleo Lucas-Ibrihim, 5, said: “We thought this is disgraceful and we took some pictures to show Asda what it is.

“I thought this is awful because we don’t know what’s going into the food chain. This is how serious illnesses start.

“We’re all really grossed out – I felt bad everyone had eaten some. I know my daughter will never eat chicken again after that. No one was ill but we all felt really queasy. We’re not going to touch chicken for a long time.”

An Asda spokesperson said: “We always want our customers to be pleased with the products they buy from Asda so we are disappointed that Ms Lucas-Smith has purchased a product which falls below our high expectations.

“We have apologised to her and offered a full refund as well as a gesture of goodwill. It appears that a key stage in the preparation of this product has been missed and we are investigating how this could have happened with our supplier.”

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