February 5, 2023

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Do It With Food

Mum says baby could have choked on ‘hair-like clump’ found in supermarket baby food

A mum is calling for Aldi to recall jars of baby food after claiming to have found a ‘hair-like’ clump – that the supermarket claims is plant roots – that she feared her son could have choked on.

Jemma Gallimore, 30, had heated a Mamia Beef Stew microwave meal for her 11-month-old son, Fred, two weeks ago when she says she found an unknown item in the food that “looked and felt like hair.”

She says she found a smaller strand before pulling out a “massive chunk” from the gravy, leaving her terrified that Fred could have choked on the “big and furry” object.

Aldi’s supplier believes that the object is likely to be ‘natural vegetable root’, however Jemma says that she is unconvinced by the explanation.

Now stay-at-home mum Jemma is raising awareness of her ordeal as she fears other babies could choke if ‘vegetable roots’ are in other tubs of the food, which she claims are still on the shelves in her local store.

Jemma Gallimore claims she found an unknown item in the food that she thought “looked and felt like hair” in her son’s baby food

Jemma had warmed up a Mamia Beef Stew microwave meal for her 11-month-old son two weeks ago when she says she came across the unknown item

Aldi said their supplier has robust procedures to ensure foreign objects do not make their way into the product. The store said the item will be roots from vegetables, but are going to investigate.

Jemma, from Holmes Chapel, Cheshire, said: “I was absolutely mortified. He will never have meals like that again. I’ll make sure of it.

“[Fred] had one spoon then looked like he wasn’t too sure about it – pulling the food out his mouth. I went to give him another one and saw a little ‘hair’ on it.

“I’d pulled that, then another and it pulled this massive chunk out. I thought, ‘What the hell have I just fed my child?’ How I didn’t even notice on the first one I’ve got no idea. It’s gross.

Jemma says that it felt like a “horse mane” and that it was “quite big and proper furry.”

“It’s not what you expect in baby food. It’s the same size as an AA battery. It was probably about two and a half inches long to where it’s joined together.

“I put it to the side and thought ‘no way’. As I looked through [the meal] again there were all single ‘hairs’ in it.

“If you think about it realistically, he’s only little and he’s very lucky he has eight teeth and can literally annihilate food like no man’s business, but that could have choked him. Fred could still choke on that.”

Jemma with her partner, Mark

Jemma says she called her partner Mark after finding the object in her son’s food

Jemma with her 11-month-year-old son, Fred

After spotting the “chunk” in Fred’s dinner, Jemma called her partner Mark Millard, 39, to tell him about it. She also claims that her son suffered a stomach upset later that evening.

“I immediately took it away. There’s no way I’m ever shopping in Aldi again,” Jemma said.

“I rang Mark and I said ‘I’m absolutely disgusted’. I showed him and he was straight on to Aldi. He was on the phone to them before he even got home.

“Fred was up as well in the night with belly ache. I don’t know if he swallowed any and I can’t be 100{ef9989d703fca62a10b2190442415cd58cceb8c8ab6dc65dc8eb61346c8e57a3} sure, but he had that at 5pm and woke up at 11.30pm screaming in pain.

“His belly was gurgling, you could hear it, so we gave him a bottle and some Nurofen and he settled back down. He doesn’t usually do that. He does have a dairy allergy so we watch everything he eats anyway.

“I thought we were quite fortunate with them because they say they’ve got no milk in them. He’s okay now. It’s like whatever he’s eaten has given him that belly ache.”

Jemma is now calling for Aldi to recall the item as she is scared that the ‘dangerous’ addition could cause another child to choke.

Jemma says she fears her son could have choked on the “big and furry” object

Jemma says that she thinks the item should be recalled as she fears other jars could contain similar finds

“We sent [the food] back on Monday,” Jemma said.

“We’ve grown potatoes for years and everything like that. I don’t believe it’s from a root. It could have been a choking hazard. Even if it was root matter, it shouldn’t be there anyway.

Jemma says that the item is still on Aldi’s shelves.

“I actually nipped in there [on Monday] because I was curious to see if they still had it on the shelf and they did.

“I don’t understand [why they don’t temporarily stop selling them]. Surely for the sake of a couple of quid, it’d be worth saying ‘let’s just check it and make sure they’re all okay’.

“I think it’s a bit selfish really. Dangerous. It felt like hair and came away like hair. I’m excited to see what it is if they get it tested. We should have maybe got it tested ourselves privately.”

A spokesperson for Aldi said: “Our supplier has robust processes in place to prevent foreign objects from entering production and believes this to be part of a natural vegetable root.

“We have apologised to the customer that this product didn’t meet our usual high standards and have provided a full refund.

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