A CROYDON worker was "shocked and disgusted" after he tucked into some ready to eat Tesco southern fried chicken for lunch on Thursday (October 9) to find it was completely raw.
And Tesco's response was to offer Joe Vernazza, of South Croydon, a 70p refund - or a new piece of chicken.
Vernazza, 23, has bought lunch from Purley Tesco for two years since starting work as a property manager nearby, and he often visits the hot deli counter for some chicken to have with his sandwiches.
"I took a massive bite out of it and straight away I realised something was wrong," Mr Vernazza said. "I looked inside and it was completely raw. My first reaction was shock. I thought I must be going crazy. First it was shock and then disgust."
Mr Vernazza said his first thought was to stop Tesco selling more uncooked chicken and he went straight back to warn them.
He said: "When I looked it had blood in it. The other ones in the counter looked even more under cooked so other chicken must have been raw too.
"I went to customer services and asked to speak to the manager and I could see in his face he was like "what's happened". He said "what can I do about it?"."
Not wanting any more chicken Mr Vernazza returned to work but later that day he complained to Tesco on Facebook. They responded asking him to take the chicken back to the store where he would be offered a refund or an exchange.
But since the incident hygiene-conscious Mr Vernazza has been put off all food, especially chicken.
"I went home really hungry that night and my mum had cooked some chicken and I couldn't eat it. Any chicken I don't want to know," he said.
"When I was at university I was the one who didn't like raw chicken being left on the counter and I would make sure I washed my hands every time there was raw chicken about. My housemates would find it really funny that this has happened to me now."
Mr Vernazza said he won't be returning to Tesco in a hurry and will never buy chicken from the hot deli counter again.
"I don't think it was an adequate response to what's happened," he said. "The manager had no idea what to say. And the worst part was offering me a 70p refund or another piece of chicken."
A Tesco spokeswoman said: "We take food safety extremely seriously and will investigate this thoroughly. Customers can be reassured that we've checked the rotisserie and found that it, and the chicken currently available, meets our safety standards. We will update Mr Vernazza on our findings."