WHEN a Moore Park man defrosted a chicken he had bought for dinner last week, he was hoping to sit down to a tasty roast - but instead he received a nasty surprise.
Gus Campbell said he was sickened to find the chicken riddled with pus-filled tumours.
"I felt sick. It was ulcerated and diseased," he said.
"I was in the army for a while and the food was pretty bad, but this was rougher than any thing I'd seen before."
When Mr Campbell returned the chicken to the West Bundaberg Aldi store, he said staff were equally disgusted but handled the situation very professionally.
"They were very apologetic and said the chicken should never have been packaged like that," he said.
"When I showed them what it looked like, they couldn't believe what they were seeing.
"They managed the situation very well and couldn't do enough to help me."
Mr Campbell said the store replaced the chicken and gave him a number of other grocery items as compensation, but Mr Campbell said he would hesitate to buy another frozen chicken in future.
"I think I'll always buy fresh ones from now so I can see what I'm buying," he said.
Mr Campbell urged others to speak up and return items if they bought inedible produce so stores and suppliers would be accountable.
"Who knows how many other people would have just thrown it away and said nothing?" he said.
Aldi would not discuss the issue with the NewsMail and refused to give the name of their suppliers.
Emeritus Professor Greg Tannock, who has spent years researching tumour-causing viruses in chickens, said there was no evidence that indicated tumours or their viral causes could be transferred to humans.
"There are a huge number of viruses that can cause tumours in chickens," he said.
"Herpes is the biggest cause, but the industry is now able to vaccinate against this."
Prof Tannock viewed a photo of the chicken but said he could not determine the exact cause of the tumour without scientific testing.