CO-OP have urgently recalled their curly Kale after customers had their mouths “cut to pieces” when they tucked into packets laced with thorns.
The retailer today apologised to consumers who have been left injured by the prickly thistles over the past week.
Co-op revealed the sharp objects are actually thorns from weeds that have been mixed in with the kale by accident.
They are urging customers who have bought the item with a best before date up to August 11 to return them for a full refund.
Several customers from other stores including Aldi and Lidl have also been complaining to retailers after experiencing the same problem.
One customer, Dan Head, complained to Co-op over Twitter claiming his mouth was “cut to pieces” after chomping down on some homemade kale chips.
Dan posted a photograph on Sunday showing two wet pieces of green kale with dozens of pointy, beige thorns sticking out from them.
He wrote: “@coopuk can you explain why the kale I bought in your store has thorns on?
“I’ve just made kale chips and choked after my second mouthful and my mouth is cut to pieces.
“Very dangerous, luckily it wasn’t a young child.”
Another Co-op customer, known as @courters_c wrote on Friday: “Sorry to bother you but are you aware your curly kale has thorns in it?
“Just had a dinner nightmare. #ouch.”
Injured Lidl and Aldi shoppers also complained about their horrific spikey discoveries on Twitter.
Jessamy Britcliffe posted images showing an opened bag of Oaklands sliced curly kale from Lidl, where the thorned additions can be seen mixed up with normal kale.
On Monday, she wrote: “LidlGB don’t know what the f*** you’re selling but this isn’t kale and could also seriously injure someone.
“Just spent the past 30 mins picking it all out [of] my curry after both me and my boyfriend hurt ourselves eating it.
“Check what you’re selling before you put it on the shelves.”
On Sunday, Aldi customer Lizzie Randall posted photographs showing bundles of kale with hundreds of thorns attached.
She wrote: “Trying to understand how these thorns ended up in my @AldiUK kale.
“Hoping no one has accidentally eaten these!”
A Co-op spokesperson said: “We are sorry that a batch of Co-op Curly Kale is being recalled after thistles were found in a small number of packs.
“It is a weed that is grown naturally in the field with the kale and can feel prickly in the mouth if eaten.”
They added: “We ask any customer who has purchased this product with a best before date up to 11th August to please return the product to the store for a full refund, or contact our customer careline.”
Aldi also apologised to customers for the incidents.
A spokeswoman said: “Whilst rare, this can occasionally occur with products that are grown in natural conditions.
“We apologise to Ms Randall that this product didn’t meet our usual high standards and would ask her to get in touch so we can provide a full refund.”
The spiky thistle growth is believed to be due to heavier rainfall and higher daytime temperatures recently.
Slightly shorter kale crops have allowed for weeds to become caught in with the kale leaves when harvested.