A SCHOOLGIRL has spoken of her horror after she almost swallowed a thumb-sized piece of what she feared was flesh left in her strawberry smoothie.

Mum Samantha Killingback said she thought 13-year-old Tayah had injured herself when she walked into the kitchen to find her daughter leaning over the sink.

The shop owner, 47, has criticised Swindon Borough Council’s environmental health team for failing to send out an officer to examine the object, despite being sent images of the foreign object. The council claimed it was a mould cluster.

Tayah, a pupil at St Joseph’s Catholic College, said she had grabbed a bottle of the Discover the Choice brand strawberry and banana smoothie, bought from wholesaler Booker, after burning her mouth on a mug of hot chocolate as she got ready for school.

“I could tell from the texture something was a bit off when I unscrewed the lid,” she said. “But I’ve been drinking these smoothies for a while and I didn’t think anything of it.

“It was all fine until I saw something in the drink. It touched my lips. I didn’t know what it was. At first I thought it could be a bit of crushed up fruit, but it looked really weird to me. It looked like an organ. It was disturbing, it looked like it had come from a body.”

Mum Samantha heard a shout and came into the kitchen to find her daughter looking at the strange object, slightly larger than a £2 coin and made up of coiled layers like an intestine.

“I thought, oh my God, that’s come from her,” said Samantha. “But Tayah said to me, ‘No it’s from out of my drink’.”

Samantha, who owns Greenmeadow Stores with her husband, got on the phone to Swindon Borough Council’s environmental health team.

She said: “I had them say it was mould. No, I’m sorry, but it’s not mould. We stuck a knife into it. This was definitely solid, it didn’t fall apart.”

“They only saw a picture of it. Nobody bothered to come and collect it. If it had been my younger daughter she could have eaten it thinking it was a strawberry. It’s gross, it’s disgusting and nobody’s taking it very seriously. It’s an absolute disgrace somebody at the council has not looked into it for us.”

A spokesman for the council said: “Mould clusters are very common and we spotted it straight away. They normally occur if the seal on the product is faulty, which allows air to get in and nature does the rest.

“We have received no other complaints and Bookers, as a national chain, have the necessary procedures in place to get to the bottom of this incident.”

The drink was bough from Booker the week before. The firm said an investigation had been launched into the incident.