AN ELDERLY woman was shocked and anxious to find a piece of wood in her tin of Tesco peas and carrots.

82-year-old Mary Ingamells was preparing her dinner when she found the almost two-inch-long stick of wood amongst her potatoes and vegetables.

The great-grandmother couldn’t believe her eyes, and sought confirmation from neighbours and friends before accepting the discovery.

“I had a taste of my tatties and went to have some carrot, and thought, ‘what’s that?’, and it was this great stick of wood in the pan!” Mrs Ingamells explained.

“I don’t care about getting compensation or any of that nonsense, I just want to make people more aware, and let them know this happened.

"If a parent or grandparent had given the bowl of peas and carrots to a two-year-old and turned their back for just one second, the baby would have choked on it.”

The concerned Seaton woman said she raised her concerns with Tesco, and was told if she brought the tin and the piece of wood into the store with her, she would receive compensation.

But as she is currently unwell, Mrs Ingamells is forced to stay in her house, saying “I haven’t left the house since April”, and so can’t get out to the shops.

She added: “I’m not looking for money – the tins only cost 20-odd pence, so that’s not the issue at all.

“I’m just so anxious thinking about what could have happened to me, and to a little child if they had accidentally eaten it.”

After suffering a near-miss when she was two, choking on an orange segment and needing emergency help, Mrs Ingamells has been left scarred, saying she can still feel the orange in her throat.

And as the mother-of-two lives alone, and nobody to help her if she were to be in that same situation again, this experience has made the feeling even clearer.

“I just keep thinking what could have happened,” Mrs Ingamells said. “I could have choked to death!”

A spokesman for Tesco said: “We were sorry to hear about this.

"We have extremely high standards for the food we put on our shelves, and our suppliers take great care and attention to ensure our vegetables are thoroughly cleaned and sorted before they are canned.

“We would ask the customer to contact us directly to help us fully investigate this with our supplier.”