A MCDONALD'S customer said he was disgusted after finding a dead wasp in his meal.

Eric McNeal said he did not see the insect until he tipped the last few remaining fries out of the carton.

The 67-year-old, who lives in Prudhoe with his wife Gill and is retired, said it was 'absolutely horrible' and has vowed to never return.

"My wife went to collect the meal from the drive through and we were watching the news," he said.

"I had the fries in the carton on my knee. I didn't tip the fries out of the box, and it wasn't until I'd nearly finished the fries that I tipped the fries into the burger carton and saw it. I didn't know what it was, if it was a fly or a wasp, until I tipped it out.

Eric said: "It was absolutely horrible. If I hadn't seen it and eaten it, I could've stung myself, and if it was someone with an allergy and they'd had an allergic reaction, it could've been really nasty."

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Eric said it had 'completely' put him off McDonald's.

"My wife phoned McDonalds, and the lady said we could go back to get a new meal or a refund. My wife asked how to get in touch with the Head Office so the lady gave her the email," he said.

After emailing Head Office with a photo of the wasp, they waited for a response until Thursday. 

A member of customer services replied: "Dear Gill, I was sorry to learn about your visit and I hope you are well.

"I would like to start by offering my apologies for our delay in writing to you. I can appreciate how this has only served to cause further frustration.

"I understand from your contact that you found a wasp in the Fries. There is no excuse for it. Please accept our apologies.

"At McDonald's we have strict hygiene and food preparations policies in place for all our staff. We also closely monitor our suppliers to ensure that they meet the high standards you and we expect. 

"We've investigated the matter with the restaurant and found no reason how a wasp could have made its way into the meal. Our staff take measures to prevent this at every stage as they prepare your food.

"We take complaints like yours very seriously. I've passed your comments to the restaurant manager and to our relevant suppliers.

"I can understand that this incident must have spoilt your meal and I hope you will not be deterred from future visits to our restaurants.

"With this in mind, please accept our apologies and to make up for this experience, we will send you an email shortly with a voucher as a gesture of our goodwill. 

"Thank you for taking the time to contact us and bring this matter to our attention," the email concluded.

Eric said: "It would've been nice to get a proper apolog. I wasn't worried about the refund. 

"It's not as if I want anything back - that voucher they could've put that into charity. I just wanted a sincere apology and prevent it happening in future."

Eric and Gill received a £10 voucher as a goodwill gesture.