Tina Thompson

Tina Thompson

If you are thinking of buying prawns – or indeed any food from the supermarket – you may want to think twice – they could be radioactive.

A former mayor has spoken of her shock after frozen prawns that she purchased from supermarket Waitrose started glowing in the dark.

Tina Thompson, 69, from Rutherwyke Close, Stoneleigh, had defrosted the supermarket’s prawns for brunch and had fed some to her pet cats and initially planned to feed them to the birds the next day.

But then she noticed the prawns were glowing on a saucer which was left in a dark kitchen. She then went to show them to her neighbour and husband who were equally baffled.

Ms Thompson has demanded answers as to why the prawns appeared to be radioactive.

She claims that Waitrose had just “fobbed her off” over the prawns.

“They were still glowing the next morning when I went down to Waitrose. I took them down in a box and said ‘if you go into a dark room you will see they are glowing’,” she told the Epsom Guardian.

She later received a letter from Waitrose which claimed that prawns are sometimes caught with plankton and the bacteria may be Pseudomonas fluorescens which is harmless.

However, this failed to convince Ms Thompson, who says that the explanation doesn’t make sense.

She added: “They have not told me what species of plankton or bacteria survives boiling and freezing. I don’t think it is an unreasonable request to know what I have eaten.”

Ms Thompson said that she suspected that radioactive water from a leaking atomic power station in Japan may have reach Indonesia where the prawns were farmed.

She told the Epsom Guardian that all she ever wanted was a proper explanation – which has so far failed to materialise.

“I really don’t like being fobbed off. I’m a very determined lady. I wrote to Waitrose and said I was severely disappointed.

“If they are going to treat a loyal customer with such disregard, and what I consider contempt, I don’t want to shop there anymore. It’s a reasonable question, I don’t want them to sweep it under the carpet,” she said.

But some researchers claim that the phenomena of contaminated seafood glowing in the dark is surprisingly common.

After reports of glow-in-the-dark shrimp in the US state of Oregon in 2010, Kaety Hildenbrand, an Oregon State University sea grant extension specialist said: “One person turned her lights off to watch a movie and her shrimp salad started to glow. Another man left his pink shrimp on the counter to thaw, and when he got up, it was glowing in the sink.”

Of course experts will do their best to assure the public that luminescent food is safe but so far none of them have managed to explain how such bacteria can survive boiling or freezing temperatures. Radioactive seafood on the other hand can.

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