A couple were left horrified after a salad they purchased from Tesco contained a five-inch dead bird.

James and Jasmine Watson had bought the pre-packed baby leaf salad to be used in a romantic candlelit dinner.

However, after they started eating the meal, Mr Watson was disgusted to notice the salad had a whole European blackcap warbler - usually found in the wilds of Spain and parts of Europe - on his plate.

Tesco - already embroiled in the horsemeat scandal - offered the pair £200 compensation, which they described as an insult.

Mr Watson, 32, said: "I took three mouthfuls and then saw it. My first reaction was why have I got a soggy fishcake on my plate?

"But then I saw its beak and realised it was a full-size dead bird.

"We couldn't believe it. We both got off our stools and stood there in utter amazement for at least two minutes.

"We only had a few low lights on so we were effectively eating by candlelight."

Unable to reach customer services at that time in the evening, the couple complained directly at their nearest Tesco store.

The bag of salad - purchased online - was removed from the couple's home by the store manager of their local Tesco branch in Yate, south Gloucestershire.

Suppliers' robust safeguards

Mr Watson added: "I would really like someone from Tesco to sit down and explain me how an animal so large got into a bag of salad.

"If it was a maggot or something I could almost understand it, but how a whole bird was not picked up - I have just been gobsmacked by the whole thing. The magnitude of this was disgraceful. I find the offer of compensation a bit of an insult."

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 customers to reassure them how seriously we have taken this matter, and offered them a gesture of goodwill."

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