Tesco is refunding customers who bought ‘rotten’ or ‘gone off’ Christmas turkeys

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Tesco is refunding and compensating customers who complained that the turkey they bought for their Christmas dinner was ‘rotten’ or had ‘gone off’.

The supermarket’s social media feeds were bombarded by angry customers who claimed the centrepiece of their festive meal was either inedible or had made people ill.

Tesco has apologised to those affected and said it was providing them with a refund and offering a goodwill gesture.

It said complaints made up a small proportion of the more than half a million turkeys it sold leading up to Christmas.

Among those who complained was Kirsten Shore, an events manager from Stafford, who said she was ‘devastated’ that her Christmas meal was ruined. She tweeted: ‘Thanks @Tesco for selling me a gone off turkey & wrecking my 1st xmas day cooked at my home! £250 wasted, an awful meal and 8sick people!’

The 29-year-old, who alongside her husband Dan was hosting their first family Christmas, said they realised something was wrong when they tasted the turkey and the gravy made from the giblets.

She said: ‘My mum bought the turkey and prepared it, and we put it in the fridge. Then we cooked it and I was so proud of it.

‘It seemed fine and we sat down at the dinner table and everybody seemed a bit quiet.

‘I took a mouthful of turkey and spat it out. It tasted of bleach and everyone else realised the reason everything was a bit funny was because the gravy was made from the giblets.

‘It’s almost like they’ve washed the turkey in bleach – it was awful.

‘It cost me £250 to buy everything and we had to chuck everything away.’

She said: ‘I’m not going to lie, I know it sounds ridiculous, but it broke my heart – it ruined the day.‘

A Tesco spokeswoman said: ‘We’ve sold hundreds of thousands of great quality British turkeys this Christmas. We have exceptionally high standards so we will look to address the small number of complaints in recent days.

‘We will get in touch with each customer so we can investigate how these instances may have happened.’

The Food Standards Agency said: ‘Tesco have confirmed that they are investigating the complaints they have received about turkeys on a case-by-case basis.

‘We have no evidence at present to suggest that there is a problem in their supply chain. Investigations are continuing and we will take appropriate action if necessary.’