A takeaway resaurant has apologised after customers discovered a dead caterpillar in their kebab.

Robert and Debby Mortlock, of Cuttys Lane in Stevenage, ordered a kebab from the Bedwell Pizza and Kebab shop on Friday.

The couple found the insect lodged inside a chilli pepper within the salad they had ordered separately.

Mr Mortlock said: “It was disgusting. It’s lucky that we had the salad separately. I just heard my wife screaming in the kitchen and she flung this pepper into the sink. It has really put us off in a big way – I can’t imagine eating a kebab for quite some time.

“We’ve been there a few times and never had any issues. The man they sent here asked if we wanted our money back or another kebab – I thought he was joking.”

The couple were given a full refund from the takeaway – which at its last inspection received a five star rating from the Food Standards Agency.

Manager Halis Basbaydar said: “We apologise for what has happened. I have never had anything of this nature occur in my last 20 years working in the fast food retail business. We are actively investigating how this happened and want to reassure our customers that this is a one-off.”

Mr Basbaydar says he is speaking to his supplier to uncover how their food was contaminated.