A COUPLE had the shock of their lives when they tucked into a Friday night supper only to discover a dead bird in their salad.

James and Jasmine Watson, from Brimsham Park, Yate, made the grisly find in a bag of Tesco babyleaf and rocket salad.

Mr Watson, 32, a sales director for an international company, said: “We could not believe it.

“We literally stood there in utter amazement for at least two minutes.”

The five inch bird, which Tesco later identified as a blackcap European warbler, was inside the bag of salad which Mrs Watson, 30, had ordered from tesco.com on Wednesday, January 30.

“We had the food delivery a couple of days before and then had gone out for a few drinks on the Friday evening,” said Mr Watson. “We came back and were preparing dinner in the kitchen, my wife was cooking some scallops and steak and I prepared the salad.

“I opened the bag, tipped it into a salad bowl and cut up some other salad bits and put them on top. Then I served the salad on some plates.”

He added: “We sat down at the breakfast bar and only had a few low lights on so we were effectively eating by candlelight.

“I took three mouthfuls and then saw it. My first reaction was why have I got a soggy fishcake on my plate? But this was a full size dead bird.”

Unable to contact Tesco’s customer services and so horrified by the find, the couple went to the Tesco Extra store in Yate that evening.

The store manager promised to visit their home the following day and came to take the food away.

Since then, the firm, which has already this year had to withdraw several products after horsemeat was discovered in its own brand bolognaise, has apologised to Mr Watson and offered a £200 gift card by way of compensation.

A Tesco spokesman said: "We were concerned to learn of this issue and have investigated thoroughly with our supplier. Both we and our suppliers have robust measures in place to prevent incidents such as this, and our salad leaves go through complex filtering and washing systems.

"We have been in contact with our customer to reassure them how seriously we have taken this matter, and offered them a gesture of goodwill."

But Mr Watson said he had not been offered any explanation as to how the dead bird got into the salad bag.

“I want to know how it happened,” he said. “I would really like someone from Tesco to sit down and explain me how an animal so large got into a bag of salad not so large.

“If it was a maggot or something I could almost understand it but how a whole bird was not picked it, I have just been gobsmacked by the whole thing."

“The magnitude of this was disgraceful and I find the offer of compensation a bit of an insult.”