Chicken Tikka Masala, a hot and spicy curry-like dish invented in London's curry houses in the 1960s, has overtaken fish and chips as Britain's favourite dish.

Cate Barratt, of St Austell, Cornwall, decided to make some for herself and her boyfriend, so she went to her local Asda supermarket to buy a jar of tikka masala sauce.

What she didn't expect to find in it was a dead mouse....

What's so special about Asda's Extra Special Curry Sauce? The dead mouse in it

By Debra Killalea (external - login to view)
17th June 2009
Daily Mail

When Cate Barrett brought a 1.49 jar of tikka masala sauce from her local Asda store, she was expecting it to contain a bit of a kick.

But what she wasn't expecting to find was the dead mouse which had somehow ended up in the jar - along with the rest of her favourite sauce.

The nursery worker had begun making dinner for herself and her boyfriend, Nigel, when she poured the sauce into the pan, and noticed it was a little lumpy.

As she began stirring the sauce through, she noticed what looked like whiskers and a tail - and immediately knew it was a dead rodent.

Asda shopper Cate Barrett was shocked after she found a dead mouse in her Exta Special Tikka Masala sauce

The couple took the dead animal and the jar of Asda Extra Special sauce back to the shop where a manager apologised and said it would be sent for examination.

Ms Barrett, of St Austell, Cornwall, said: 'I stirred the sauce around and thought it looked a little bit more lumpy than usual and wondered if we had too many vegetables in the pan.

'Then as the sauce spread out, I saw whiskers, legs, and a tail. I shouted out to Nigel to come to see if it was what I thought it was. Then I fished it out.

'It was a really big shock to see it plop out of the jar. It's going to be a while until I get another one of those tikka masala sauces.'

Ms Barrett said the seal of the jar was firmly in place as the button on the top of the lid was not popped out, which would indicate it had already been opened.

Ms Barrett said it would take her a while before she could stomach a Tikka Masala sauce again

She said she had no idea how the mouse came to be in the jar and she guessed it must have fallen in the moment before the lid was sealed.

She said: 'I wasn't angry but I didn't really know want to do.' she said.

'I went up to the customer services desk and showed them a photo of the mouse.

The manger was very apologetic and said they'd send it away for analysis.'

'Asda have been good about it all. I'm not squeamish but that definitely got my heart pumping when I saw it and gave me a real fright.'

Environmental Health and Asda are investigating the incident.

Hot and spicy: Chicken tikka masala is Britain's national dish

An Asda spokeswoman confirmed the sauce had been sent away for analysis and that a full investigation is currently place.

The spokeswoman told Mail Online it was impossible to say how the mouse got in the jar until the investigation was complete.

'The curry sauce the mouse was in has been sent away for analysis,' she said.

'It will probably be between four and six weeks until we establish where the mouse actually came from.'

The spokeswoman added the company appreciated Ms Barret's patience and that Asda representatives would contact her once the results of the investigation were complete.