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Six-year-old nearly chokes on cardboard in fish finger (1 September 2015)

Date: 01/09/2015
Duncan Lewis, Legal News Solicitors, Six-year-old nearly chokes on cardboard in fish finger

A father has spoken out abut how his young daughter nearly choked when a fish finger he had served was found to contain a piece of cardboard.

Father-of-two Robert Young, 26, from Pontefract in West Yorkshire managed to spot the cardboard inside his six-year-old daughter’s mouth as she ate the fish finger. He prised open her mouth to remove the cardboard when she began to gag before she could choke on it.

The Daily Mail reports that Mr Young had paid £2 for a pack of 40 fish fingers from frozen food store Iceland. He said the stiff piece of cardboard was the same size and shape as a fish finger.

“I had just made Ellie-Jay her tea and made a fish finger sandwich for myself when she began choking,” he said.

“She just panicked – this piece of cardboard was stuck in her throat. I had to put my fingers down her throat and pull the cardboard out.

“It was massive – It was the full size of the fish finger. It looked to me like a piece of A-Tex roofing you see on a house. It was a long as a permanent marker.

“It was horrible. I've never experienced anything in my life like it.”

The fish fingers are supplied to Iceland by Young’s Seafoods – and the company has admitted the cardboard came from the production process.

Young’s have apologised and vowed to tighten up their safety procedures. They have offered the family just £10 in compensation, however.

In a letter to the family, Young’s said:

“This matter has been taken very seriously and brought to the attention of the Quality Manager and Production Manager.

“He in turn will be re-briefing all personnel involved on the importance of sustained visual inspection throughout processing, to prevent a recurrence of this matter.

”On behalf of Young's Seafoods, I wish to apologise for any distress caused by this incident and assure you that this is not typical of our products.

“We are acutely aware of our responsibilities to our customers and endeavour to produce a high quality product at all times.”

Mr Young said that he and his partner Rhian Harris had previously lost a daughter Emily Fay, when she was born prematurely at just 27 weeks.

“We had already lost Emily Fay and I didn't want to lose another child,” said Mr Young.

“It panicked me as it is – it was one the hardest things that has happened in my life and I didn't want to go through it again.”

The couple now have a baby son, Toby.

Young’s Seafoods added:

“We investigated the issue and found that the material he found in his fish fingers was a piece of block liner – the cardboard liner that frozen fish blocks are packaged in during transportation, before they are made into fish fingers.

“We immediately alerted the manufacturing team to this issue and they have since made improvements to our block stripping processes, moving from a mechanical process to a manual process, to ensure greater consistency and quality control.

“We wrote to apologise to the consumer, in April, offering a Postal Order reimbursement and gesture of our concern and goodwill.

“We are grateful to the consumer for bringing this issue to our attention and would like to reassure him that our factories operate to the highest standards and that we constantly work to improve our manufacturing processes.”

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