One Belfast man wasn’t pleased to find that something extra had come with his recent fish purchase. We can see why: Upon preparing the sea bass for dinner, Rick Beattie discovered a large parasitic louse in its mouth.

Beattie, who had purchased the fish at a Tesco location in Belfast, was promised a refund after he brought the incident to the grocery’s attention. “It was like something from a horror film,” Beattie said, according to “I’m sure other Tesco customers would be interested.”

The parasite, known as the tongue-eating louse or Cymothoa exigua, enters a fish through its gills and attaches itself to the creature’s tongue. Once in place, the louse destroys the fish’s tongue, replacing it. The louse does not appear to hurt the fish in any other way. They’re not believed to be dangerous to humans, although they can bite if picked up alive.

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A Tesco spokesman stressed that the company wishes to undertake an “an urgent and thorough investigation” of the fish’s supplier, Yahoo writes. “We have very high standards for food quality,” he said. “Both we and our suppliers have robust checks in place to ensure that our food meets those standards.” It has asked Beattie to provide the fish in question to aid the investigation.


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