24/11/2014 06:42 GMT | Updated 24/11/2014 06:59 GMT

Bush Tucker Trial? No. Just A Tongue-Eating Parasite Found In Someone's Morrisons Sea Bass

A retired head teacher got more than he bargained for recently after finding a tongue-eating parasite in his sea bass.

Paul Poli was tucking into his fish supper, bought from Morrisons in Trostre, when he spotted the 3cm long parasite.

Also called cymothoa exigua, the parasite is known to enter a fish through its gills, attach itself to the tongue and then eat the tongue. From then on, it acts as the fish's new tongue and survives off anything the fish eats.

cymothoa exigua

Cymothoa exigua

After his ordeal, which resembled more of a bush tucker trial than your average midweek fish dish, the 62-year-old has since received an apology from Morrisons, along with a bottle of wine and a £20 voucher to make up for the inconvenience.

Mr Poli said of his mealtime ordeal: "It was disgusting. The parasite was about 3cm long and 8mm wide. I love fish but it has put me off it for life now.

"I'm worried if it came from a fish farm, others could be infected too."


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While the parasite is not harmful to humans, Mr Poli added that he expected more from Morrisons after contacting their head office and sending them the evidence.

A spokesperson for Morrisons said: "Certain fishes often pick up parasites naturally from their eco system.

"Although we make every effort to screen these out during the skinning or packaging processes, they may be present on very rare occasions.

"Our skilled fishmongers will also identify them as they fillet a fish – Mr Poli's fish was sold un-filleted at his request.

"We have already offered Mr Poli our apologies as well as a £20 voucher as a gesture of good will."

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[H/T South Wales Evening Post]