An investigation is to begin into allegations a supermarket has been washing fruit given out to children in a toilet sink.

A customer at Helston's Tesco store claims to have seen a member of staff washing apples and pears in the hand sink of the store's disabled toilet, before putting them in the box of free fruit for children.

The alarm was raised by mother Megan Everhard, who complained to the store before posting on social media as a warning to other parents.

She said: "So I’ve just witnessed the fruit and veg man in Tesco washing the apples and pears that are put in the ‘free fruit for children’ box in the disabled toilet hand sink. Pretty sure that’s not a food prep area!

"When I complained to the service desk, they said they had been instructed to wash the fruit as someone had complained that it had come straight out of the plastic and into the box.

"When I told them I didn’t think this wasn’t sanitary, they said they had nowhere else to do it. Isn’t there a bakery/butcher/fishmonger/deli counter that all have sinks? When I asked for the manager I was told he was unavailable.

"This is totally disgusting. The guy said he hadn’t touched it - I saw him rinse them round with his bare hands. Gross Tesco Superstore Helston."

Falmouth Packet:

The incident allegedly took place in the Helston Tesco store

She has since gone on to report the incident to the Food Standards Agency and Cornwall Council.

Megan has received support from other parents, who were equally disgusted.

One said: "That's unreal - all sorts of germs become airborne when a toilet is flushed," while another pointed out: "You wouldn't wash your own food at home in your bathroom and a restaurant wouldn't wash or prep their food in a bathroom, so why in a supermarket? Yes being exposed to germs is good to build our immune systems, but I for one would rather not eat fruit with possible sh*t particles attached to them."

Speaking to the Packet afterwards Megan added: "I am in no way suggesting that we should be a completely germ-phobic society. The only point I'm trying to make is that there are food laws in place and they're being broken.

"It's up to everybody else what they do with their food and where they wash it, but I don't think a store should be doing something like that.

"If it happened in a restaurant they would get shut down, so why should a supermarket be any different?"

A spokesperson for Cornwall Council said: "A complaint has been logged with Cornwall Council’s Food Safety Team, and an officer will investigate. We are unable to comment further at this stage."

A spokesman for Tesco said: “We have detailed guidelines in place setting out that the fruit should be washed in a food preparation area, and are investigating what has happened on this occasion.”