A schoolgirl was left horrified after she went for a McDonald’s with her family – and found a live WORM in her fries.
Rhiannon Kearns went through the drive-thru at the fast-food restaurant with mum Jemma, 28, and her fiance Tom Cartridge, 27, on Sunday 2 August.
The family pulled into her bay and the eight-year-old tucked into her cheese melt dippers before opening her fries.
But she was horrified when what appeared to be “greasy chip” suddenly started wriggling in her food.
Rhiannon threw the fries across the car and started screaming as the three-inch white bug crawled on the seat.
Stomach-churning video footage taken by the family shows the creepy-crawlie wriggling violently and attaching itself to a handbag strap.
Jemma then marched into the McDonald’s restaurant in Chesterton, Staffs., to get the manager who apologised and offered the family a free meal.
The bug has now been sent off for analysis but the family are convinced it’s a tomato hornworm, a major garden pest more commonly found on defoliated tomato plants.
Rhiannon, who lives with her mum and Tom in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffs., says she would never eat at the fast-food giant again.
She added: “We went to McDonald’s on the way to our auntie’s and I got cheese melt dippers and chips.
“We parked by the restaurant so mum could eat hers before we left.
“I ate my cheese melts first and I was about to eat my chips when I saw a greasy one, and then it moved.
“I jumped out of my seat and just started screaming.
“I chucked the chip box and it jumped out onto my bag and started wriggling around.
“The worm had a big horn on it and I was worried it might sting people.
“Mum just ran out of the car and opened my door and I just screamed ‘worm, worm’.”
“She thought it was a greasy chip too, but then she saw it move and she went to tell the man at the drive-thru.
“The lady offered me a free meal, but I didn’t want it. I’m never going to eat there again, it’s really scary.”
Full-time mum Jemma added: “I just didn’t know what to do – what are you meant to do in a situation like that?
“The one minute the car was calm, the next it was hysterical with chips flying across the place and a worm wriggling over the back seats.
“When I first looked in the back I couldn’t see it, but when it moved I was shocked.”
“The manager came out and was shocked, but the only thing he offered was a free meal – which was the last thing we wanted.
“I rang the main complaints line at McDonald’s and they were very apologetic.
“We’re now keen to see what the creature is, but I’m definitely not going back there and I don’t think Rhiannon will ever forget this.”
The family also had 20-month-old daughter Ebony in the back seat and say she could have picked up the worm.
Tom, who works as a pump engineer, said: “I thought Rhiannon was over-exaggerating at first.
“I’d never seen anything like that and my worry was that it was from a foreign country, and I wanted it out of the car in case it stung or bit.
“I work all over the country so I eat at McDonald’s a couple of times a week but I wouldn’t eat there now. It’s just not on.”
A spokesperson for McDonald’s said they are working to confirm the species and origin of the creature.
They added: “We apologise for Ms Kearns’s experience when visiting our drive-thru earlier this week.
“We launched a full investigation into this incident as soon as the customer returned to the store.
“The creature has been sent away for analysis to determine where it originated from and there is no evidence to suggest any other products were affected.
“Our customer services team is in touch with Ms Kearns and her family.”
* The tomato hornworm is one of the most destructive pests of tomato, potato and pepper plants.
They consume entire leaves as well as small stems and have even been known to chew pieces from fruit.