Seafood surprise for local diner
A SHAKEN diner is calling on food outlets to sell only Australian seafood after a night out went horribly wrong at a local pub on Saturday.
The 28-year-old was dining at a Woolgoolga hotel bistro with his parents and girlfriend when he bit into a prawn on his surf and turf only to be jabbed in the lip by what he described as a needle.
"I felt a jab in the lip, pulled out the prawn, tore it open and there was a needle in it," said the man, who asked for his name not to be reported.
"I actually wasn't sure what it was at first, but my girlfriend is a registered nurse and she knew it was a needle."
The object is about two millimetres in diameter and about 30 millimetres long.
The diner said he confronted management, who were just as surprised.
"They came out to the table and gave us a refund on our meal," he said.
Pub manager Twane Voglsinger told the Advocate he didn't believe the needle came from their premises.
"I certainly don't think it was our fault. Perhaps the prawn swallowed the thing when it was alive in the ocean," he said.
But Professor Alistair McIlgorm from the National Marine Science Centre, based in Coffs Harbour, has told the Advocate that could not happen.
The marine life expert believes the prawn, if imported from Asia, could have been injected with antibiotics in a fish farm.
"A needle cannot get into the body of a prawn naturally," he said.
"It could not swallow such a thing. It would need significant pressure from an outside source to put it there."
Professor McIlgorm added that imported prawns from Thailand and Vietnam are not subject to strict local fishing regulations.
Meanwhile the diner wants restaurants to play it safe and use local prawns.
"I'm not saying it's the pub's fault," he said.
"I think the main point here is that we should be utilising our great local prawns, rather than importing this Asian stuff which can have these sorts of things inside.
"I know none of my mates would mind paying that extra bit of money for something that is better quality."
The man has had blood tests for Hepititis B, Hepatitis C and HIV since the incident but is not worried.
"It's more the memory of what happened that's sickening," he said.