A MOTHER found a truly unexpected item at the bottom of her shopping bag – a piece of poo.

Caroline Byrne found the faeces in a plastic bag that contained food she had bought at the Co-op store, in Grove Road, Black Dam, Basingstoke.

The 31-year-old mother-of-four visited the store at around 2.30pm last Sunday, having run an errand for a friend in Brighton Hill.

She bought items including a pizza, two cartons of milk and wet wipes, which were packed into a plastic bag by a member of staff at the till.

But Miss Byrne said she noticed something was wrong when she returned to her home in Popley.

After taking the pizza out of the bag, she noticed a “funny smell” on her hands and washed them.

She said: “I went to put the rest of the stuff away and noticed poo on the bottles of milk. I looked in the bag and there was a piece of poo at the bottom.

“First of all, I could not believe my eyes. Then I felt angry because it could have been a lot worse. It could have been my children unpacking the bag and touching it.”

Miss Byrne called the store and was asked to return there with the bag and its contents. She received replacements for the items she bought, but not an apology, and is annoyed at how the matter has been dealt with.

She said she does not feel that the company believed her when she said the faeces must have been in the bag when the member of staff packed her shopping at the till.

She added: “If they were more sympathetic towards me and tried to sort it out, I would have been more lenient. But I’m not happy. They owe me compensation for what I have been through.”

In a statement, The Co-operative Food said it was aware of the complaint about a “foreign object” in the carrier bag and is investigating.

The statement added: “Checks have been carried out in the store and on other carrier bags, both in the store and in the warehouse, and no problems have been found.

“We have also instructed environmental health experts to carry out a thorough inspection of the store and warehouse to verify this.

“We offer our sincere apologies to the customer, and we will maintain contact with her throughout our investigation.”