A MAN who does not eat meat except for seafood was horrified to find a large fatty lump in a Tesco readymeal.

Dave Penny, 51, bought the 'Finest' King Prawn Tikka and Pilau Rice meal at the chain's Bakers Arms branch in Leyton High Road.

But he was repulsed to find a large gooey lump as he began tucking in to the food. Tesco refunded his money and sent the sample away for testing, but then sent him a letter stating it was "garlic or ginger".

But Mr Penny strongly refutes this claim.

He said: "It looked like a piece of raw chicken. At first I thought it was an under-cooked prawn or something but on closer inspection I saw it had veins in it.

"It was slimy and lumpy - it was clearly not a piece of garlic.

"If Tesco had got back to me and simply said yes, we're sorry, these things do sometimes happen, then that would be fair enough.

"But for them to fob me off like this is not acceptable."

Mr Penny, of Manor Road in Leyton, has not eaten meat for around ten years. He said: "I'm not a vegan or anything but it made me violently sick and I feel nauseous even just to think about it.

"I wish now I had retained a piece of the matter for independent analysis. I did take photos, however, which disprove Tesco's findings."

He added: "I was told the investigation is at an end and all evidence has been destroyed.

"I have lost all confidence in the brand.

"The customer service department tells me that their investigation is at an end and it boils down to my word against theirs. I am fuming."

Tesco told Mr Penny in a letter that the chain was "sorry he had cause to complain".

A Tesco spokeswoman said: “Ensuring our food is of the highest quality is very important to us and we take these issues seriously.

"Our supplier has thoroughly investigated and found that the item was vegetable matter."

She added that the company would make "a gesture of goodwill to apologise for any inconvenience caused".