Belfast Telegraph

Consumer: 'Metal' in crisps hard to swallow

By Claire McNeilly

Every once in a while we all bite off more than we can chew. And that’s quite literally what happened to a shocked grandmother as she was treating herself to a small snack.

But the problem hidden in a packet of crisps ended up requiring Mary McCormick, from north Belfast, to undergo dental work.

Mrs McCormick was enjoying a bag of Walkers Smokey Bacon flavour crisps when she suddenly felt a terrible sensation in her mouth.

“I’d only opened the packet and had just taken a second mouthful when I felt something hit a nerve in my tooth,” she said.

“The object was hard and heavy because it dropped onto the bottom half of my mouth and when I took it out to examine it, it looked like it was a piece of metal.”

She added: “I have a magnet in my house but, whatever that metal was, it wouldn’t attach to it — which I thought was very odd.”

The foreign object — as yet unidentified — damaged her tooth, so she called her dentist to arrange an appointment for repair work.

“It took out a bit of my tooth, but thankfully I didn’t have to get anything too major done — the dentist just filed down the tooth,” she said.

Shortly after her visit to the surgery Mrs McCormick returned the crisps — one of 14 bags in a pack she had bought from a convenience store in her local neighbourhood — to the company.

Along with it she included a letter explaining the incident, which happened at the end of August.

“I received an email from the company which said they were looking into the matter, but I haven’t heard anything since,” the mother-of-one said. When the Belfast Telegraph contacted PepsiCo — the company that makes Walkers crisps — a spokesman said they were now prepared to negotiate with Mrs McCormick.

“The safety of consumers is always our number one concern and we take issues like this very seriously,” he said.

“We have robust quality control procedures at all of our sites, including state-of-the-art metal detection equipment on the production line.

“Having fully investigated Mrs McCormick's complaint, we are confident that the object in question could not have originated from our Walkers site.”

However, he added: “We remain in contact with Mrs McCormick to try and resolve the matter.”

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