Shopper, 32, bought a sea bass from Tesco and found an ‘alien’ creature in its MOUTH

April 15, 2013 | by | 13 Comments

A horrified shopper bought a sea bass for his dinner from Tesco and found an Alien-like parasite — protruding from its mouth.

Bank worker Rick Beattie, 32, paid £2 for the fish from his local supermarket in Belfast and took it home for tea for himself.

He was cleaning the fish and shook it by the tail when the pale-coloured louse popped out of the fish’s mouth.

The sea bass bought from Tesco that came with an alien-like creature stuck in its mouth

The sea bass bought from Tesco that came with an alien-like creature stuck in its mouth

Rick, from Knocknagoney, Belfast, said: “It was like something from a horror film. I’ve contacted Tesco and they’ve apologised and promised me a refund.

“I’m sure other Tesco customers would be interested.”

The tongue-eating louse is a common parasite in fish – enterting through the gills before attaching itself to the fish’s tongue.

The tiny parasite that was found in the fish's mouth

The tiny parasite that was found in the fish’s mouth

Rick Beattie was cleaning the fish and shook it by the tail when the pale-coloured louse popped out

Rick Beattie was cleaning the fish and shook it by the tail when the pale-coloured louse popped out

The symbiotic parasite – Cymothoa exigua – destroys the fish’s tongue and then attaches itself to the stub of what was once its tongue and becomes the fish’s new tongue

Experts believe they are not harmful to humans unless picked up alive, in which case they can bite.

A spokesman for Tesco said: “We have very high standards for food quality and both we and our suppliers have robust checks in place to ensure that our food meets those standards.

“We have asked Mr Beattie to return the product, so we can begin an urgent and thorough investigation with the supplier.

“Our customer service team is in touch with Mr Beattie so we can keep him updated on the investigation.”

Category: News

Comments (13)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    It is just a parasite that can be found in wild fish too. In fact this parasite is transfered from the wild fish to the cultured fish. I don’t understand what the problem is.

  2. Anonymous says:

    yeah, what is the problem?

  3. Anonymous says:

    it’s not symbiotic unless it does something good for the fish.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Isopods are very common parasite in Sea Bass. While it might freak some people out. I don’t see a problem with a fish having one if I bought it. When buying fresh seafood I actually check for them. Tho I have never seen one in the store. I have seen some fish missing their tongues in the store before. Which made me think they had one when it was sent to the store and it was removed. I’m not going to be cooking or eating a fish with it’s head on any ways.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I was fishing off South Australia and one of these-much larger-plopped out.I don’t mind spiders and love snakes.This was as foul as some things that come out off my mouth,though.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Holy Christ !! Thats whats wong wif my tung !

  7. Anonymous says:

    Fish don’t have tongues, Just FYI.

  8. Anonymous says:

    A couple of sentences here appear to have been copied and pasted straight from Wikipedia.

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