A FATHER of four has spoken of his horror at discovering a cigarette among a packet of mushrooms packaged by an Evesham firm.

Garry Hancock, from Peasedown St John, near Bath, has told how his wife Alexandra was preparing dinner for their four sons aged from four to 15, using a packet of mushrooms bought from Radstock Cooperative.

But they will never look at a spaghetti bolognaise in the same way again after discovering a dirty and disgusting cigarette in the packet of mushrooms, which were packaged by Walsh Mushrooms, an Evesham based company.

"My wife was cooking the tea for the children and she calls me into the kitchen and showed me the cigarette, which was sick, it's the kind of thing you see on TV.

"Whether it's been put in there by a member of staff. It doesn't look as if it's been smoked so it's very strange.

"So that put me off my spaghetti bolognaise that night. We are non-smokers as well so that made it all the more unpleasant."

Mr Hancock took his complaint to the company, which is based in Vale Park, Evesham. They have since refunded the 94 pence paid for the mushrooms, offered replacement products and the chance for Mr Hancock to be brought to the site in Evesham to take a look around at the health and safety measures in place.

Brian Cartwright, sales and marketing director, said it was the first such incident in the 35 years the company has been in business.

"The packet was harvested in Northern Ireland at one of our growers," he said. "We have very strict rules and regulations about taking anything into the work place, let alone cigarettes.

"We have followed that through with the site and the site operator has had all his people together and let them know this has been found and reminded them that people could lose their jobs if they break the rules about bringing items into the work place.

"If anyone was found to have done this they would be prosecuted.

"We are very disappointed that he (Mr Hancock) has turned down out offers."