Woman, 93, ‘lucky to be alive’ after tucking in to mouldy rice pudding from Asda

News

A 93-year-old woman who suffered food poisoning for a whole week after eating a rice pudding that had mould in it is “lucky to be alive”.

Etta Fokinther, from Worcester, had half of her favourite Asda treat before realising it had mould in it.

Her great-nephew Terry Griffiths, 47, said 59p Ambrosia pot was still in date and didn’t seem to have any damage to it when it was brought earlier in the day by her niece on December 5.

Terry said the pensioner was “lucky to survive the ordeal” as “the effect of it went through her like a Ferrari”.

The pudding “looked fine” when Etta first got hold of it, but when she started eating it she realised there was green mould inside the pot and was left suffering from an upset stomach for several days.

Terry claimed eating the snack added to his great-aunt’s existing health problems and could have had a fatal impact.

He is now calling for supermarkets and food producers to be more vigilant in checking the quality of their products.

Etta, a former nanny who worked in the USA and now lives in a Worcester care home, has been relying on her family to buy her shopping during the Covid pandemic.

Engineer Terry, of Knightwick, Worcester, said: “I’m really not happy, she is old and frail and has all the health problems that come with being that age.

“We are trying to keep her as long as we can, this could have had a serious effect on her health.

“She is in a care home at the moment, her niece does her weekly shop for her every Saturday.

“She went to have one of the puddings before lunch and ate half of it before spotting the green mould inside.

“She has poor vision, and says it tasted OK. I am just glad she is alright, food poisoning can be very dangerous at that age.

“The effect of it went through her like a Ferrari and she was ill for about a week.

“The rice puddings looked normal and everything seemed fine.

“But she pulled one from the four-pack and went back for another one but noticed the state of them.

“One was cuddled and the rest of them were in a right state. She then started getting a stomach ache and everything else that goes with it.

“Rice pudding is one of her favourites it’s been a little treat for her every time her niece goes shopping.

“But I doubt that she will have one now – it’s probably put her off.

“It’s Asda not doing their quality checks on their products. I don’t know whether it wasn’t glued properly.

“Nobody had tampered with it because I couldn’t see anything wrong with the packaging when I took the photos.”

This is the second time a product bought from that store has allegedly caused food poisoning to customers.

Last week Ally Moore, 33 claimed yoghurts purchased from the same Asda made her daughter unwell after they were sold days out of date.

An Asda spokesman said: “The excellent work of our colleagues means that products rarely go out of date, and we are able to support thousands of charities and community groups by donating food near its best before, however we are extremely sorry that this didn’t happen with this product.

“We encourage customers to check best before dates before consumption. We have apologised again to Ms Moore and have offered her a gesture of goodwill.”

A spokesperson for Premier Foods, the UK food brands group which owns Ambrosia, said: “As a food manufacturer we take any incident of product spoilage very seriously, and have immediately investigated this case.

“The in-depth investigation, conducted at the site where Ambrosia products are manufactured, has confirmed that there were no production issues that would have compromised the quality of products leaving the site relating to this batch.

“We regularly test our lines to maintain our high standards during manufacturing and take rigorous care to ensure our products leave our sites in the best condition.”

An Asda spokesperson said the matter was between the customer and the supplier but that they would be “happy to help with any investigation should the need arise.”