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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Maira Butt

Christmas ruined as shoppers find turkeys ‘rotten’ and ‘stinking’ in festive dinner disasters

Richard Piers Rayner

‘Tis the season to be jolly - but not for Britons who had their long-awaited Christmas feasts ruined by mouldy and rotten turkeys that “absolutely stink”.

Some supermarket shoppers who ordered their birds well in advance woke up disappointed on Christmas Day to find their main event was far from edible. Others preparing their festive meals on Christmas Eve found it was too late to get a replacement.

Customers took to social media on Christmas Eve to hit out at supermarkets including Tesco and Sainsburys after they found a range of problems with their purchases.

The turkeys certainly did not come cheap - one Tesco customer said he paid £53 for a bird only to find it “absolutely stank” and was “rotten”. After Richard Piers Rayner complained on X, formerly Twitter, he said Tesco’s customer service got in touch and offered a gift card as compensation.

Mr Rayner said that the photos he took did not do justice to how bad the bird smelled. “Another odd thing about it was that the neck cavity was stuffed with bloody tissue paper, “he told The Independent. “I can’t think that’s normal?”

Mr Rayner spent £53 for his turkey
— (Richard Piers Rayner)

Mr Rayner said Tesco had offered a full refund and a £30 gift card as some compensation for the turkey that was “rotten and more than a little whiffy.”

The 71-year-old comic book writer and artist from Scarborough said he and his wife Bernadette usually spent the day together with friends.

“We always get a big turkey and this one would have fed up to 15 people. We have an open house policy on Christmas Day where friends know they can call round and share some dinner but they’d have been disappointed this year.

“As for Christmas dinner? It’s a good job we like sausages.”

A Sainsbury’s shopper said he found the turkey crown and ham joint he’d ordered weeks in advance had been substituted by four ham slices. Jack Rice called the situation “absolutely appalling” as his hopes for a lavish Christmas spread were dashed.

Another unhappy Sainsbury’s customer was ready to prep his turkey on Christmas Eve when he says he found it “absolutely rotten” four days before its expiry date.

Sainsbury’s has apologised to both customers and asked them both to get in touch so they can investigate.

Meanwhile, an Aldi customer claims to have found a piece of bright green hard plastic wrapped up in the skin of his turkey.

“We’d have eaten this if we’d not skinned it first!” they added in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter. Aldi has yet to comment.

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