Woolworths shopper's stomach-churning find in baby food

Black rubbery contaminants have been detected in a pouch of Woolworths branded baby food, prompting a desperate warning from a mum who nearly fed the foreign bits to her son.

Vicki Dawson was feeding her eight-month-old from a pouch of apple, banana and oats flavoured Smiling Tums on Tuesday morning when she noticed something unusual.

Several pieces of dark brown, rubbery material were found inside, and were only discovered because Ms Dawson had cut open the pouch and tipped its contents into a bowl.

The product was purchased from the Woolworths inside Queensland’s Orion Springfield Central shopping centre at Ipswich on December 23, and was well within its October 2, 2021 expiry date.

Smiling Tums pouch next to brown foreign objects found inside its pouch.
Several dark brown pieces of foreign matter were discovered inside the Smiling Tums pouch. Source: Supplied

“I had put the contents into a bowl to feed it to him and when I mixed it a little and went to get a spoonful of it, it was on the spoon,” Ms Dawson told Yahoo News Australia.

“It’s like a weird, thin, rubbery texture. I would say it's mould or fungus type stuff.”

Ms Dawson immediately stopped feeding her son from the pack and contacted Woolworths to explain what had happened.

She said she was told she could get a refund or replacement, however was disturbed there wasn’t more done to ensure no parents unwittingly fed their children potentially harmful food.

“That is not an okay response at all,” she argued, encouraging parents to either throw away the product or return it to a store.

Brown chunks inside a baby food pouch from Woolworths.
Vicki Dawson only discovered the chunks because she cut the pouch open. Source: Supplied

“I have others in the cupboard and I will be cutting them in half and checking them all just to see how many are affected,” she said.

The ordeal has turned her completely off buying the brand again, which she explained was inconvenient because she often fed her son from the pouches when she was rushed for time.

Many people expressed concern after Ms Dawson shared her experience to Facebook, saying they too would be avoiding the product in future.

Woolworths responds to mum’s claims

A Woolworths spokesman said the supermarket giant “takes food safety very seriously”.

“We have moved quickly to assess this customer’s report with our baby food pouch supplier,” he said in a statement.

“Our supplier operates to the highest food safety standards and is equipped with magnets, metal detectors and screens to detect any foreign objects.

“Given all of these food safety controls, issues such as this are incredibly rare and we’ll work with our supplier to establish how it could have happened once the product is returned.

“It appears to be an isolated incident, as we’re unaware of any other reports of a similar nature on this product at this time.

“We’ve apologised to the customer and will offer a refund on the product as well as a voucher in recognition of the poor experience.”

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