It is a widely held belief that hospital food is bad, but the experience of new mum Angelica Crawford has taken it to a whole new level of unappetising.
For the horrified mother discovered a live garden snail in her food after giving birth at Aberdeen Maternity Hospital.
Angelica, a 20-year-old model and musician, had given birth to her baby daughter Aimee last November.
After her daughter was born with complications she was forced to spend around two weeks in neo-natal care at the hospital.
Angelica said: "My baby was in neonatal care for just under two weeks and I was upset, as all the other mums were cooing over their babies and I couldn't do that. She was on a drip and kept being sick and I was really worried about her."
As a result, the new mother had not been eating properly for days when the chicken dinner was offered.
She told STV News: "I hadn't been eating well as I was worried about the baby, so when they brought through the chicken dinner I thought 'That sounds nice' and decided to have it."
However, she recoiled in horror after spotting the mollusc while eating her mashed potato.
"At first I didn't even notice it," she said. "But then I started eating and after one or two mouthfuls I saw it. I stopped and said 'that looks like a snail'.
"I looked closer and I started repeating 'oh my god, what is that?' and then Gavin my fiancé said 'it's definitely a snail'. It was still alive and I just felt totally sick."
A spokesman for NHS Grampian said: "This is a supply chain issue and we have taken the matter up with the company. More than 3,000 meals a day are cooked for our hospitals, and all our kitchens are subject to regular environmental health inspections.
"Food is bought under a national contract and in this case the peas are cooked in bulk before being plated.
"We were dismayed to learn of the presence of a foreign body in this meal and will share the outcome of the supplier's investigation with Ms Crawford."
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