A horrified shopper bought a sea bass for his dinner from Tesco and found an alien-like parasite protruding from its mouth.
Rick Beattie, 32, paid £2 for the fish from his local supermarket in Belfast and took it home for tea for himself. He was cleaning the fish and shook it by the tail when the pale-coloured louse popped out of the fish’s mouth.
The symbiotic parasite, Cymothoa exigua, destroys the fish’s tongue and then attaches itself to the stub of what was once its tongue and becomes the fish’s new tongue Experts believe they are not harmful to humans unless picked up alive, in which case they can bite.
A spokesman for Tesco said: “We have very high standards for food quality and both we and our suppliers have robust checks in place to ensure that our food meets those standards. We have asked Mr Beattie to return the product, so we can begin an urgent and thorough investigation with the supplier.”