Workers fled from their factory when a potato turned out to be a WWII hand grenade. The alert came just 24 hours after the tip of a wartime shell was found at the same plant just before it went into a slicer.
A 100-metre exclusion zone was set up on both occasions as bomb disposal teams rushed to McCain’s factory in Scarborough, North Yorks. The plant — the biggest in Europe — uses 1,400 tonnes of potatoes a week.
McCain is the largest customer of British potatoes, but supplies still have to be imported. They come from fields in northern France and Belgium where relics from both World Wars are unearthed regularly.
A company spokesman said: “It is something that we will be looking into with our suppliers. It is obviously not an efficient use of our staff’s time if we have to keep evacuating the premises. We have strict safety procedures and the safety of our workers is of paramount importance.”
The WWI grenade and shell tip were both spotted as factory workers cleaned mud off potatoes.
The “spud missiles” were destroyed in controlled explosions.