A local woman got the shock of her life when she tucked into her mixed vegetable lunch and found a small rat’s head. The 42-year-old woman, who asked not to be named, has been dry retching every time she eats after she found the rat’s head when she had already taken a bite of her meal.She told The Witness she had prepared McCain frozen mixed vegetables as normal last Thursday.“I had put it in the microwave to heat it up then put salt on the vegetables. I took a bite while looking at my computer screen because I was busy. “I went to put more salt after the first mouthful and when I mixed it I saw the rat’s head.”She said the discovery had made her feel nauseous and left her wanting to cry. “I managed to eat a little bit of supper that night but I kept gagging. I am traumatised and I won’t eat frozen veggies again. I feel ill.”McCain managing director Michael O’Brien said the company would launch an urgent investigation into possible contamination.“We wish to assure our loyal customers that McCain is committed to ensuring the highest standards for the safety and the quality of our products. Our stringent quality controls are designed to ensure incidences such as the alleged contamination are highly unlikely.”McCain also asked for the woman’s contact details to reach out to her personally.How to ensure your food is hygienicThe Food Advisory Consumer Service (FACS), an independent South African food and nutrition consumer service, provides the following tips on ensuring your food is thoroughly checked.1. Ensure good hand hygiene — washing your hands thoroughly with soap is the first step to good food hygiene. This limits the risk of spreading potentially harmful micro-organisms. Washing your hands is essential even if using gloves when preparing food.2. Ensure your kitchen surfaces are clean — this includes kitchen utensils and chopping boards. 3. Inspect your food — Never serve food that looks or smells peculiar, and always handle and store cooked food separately from raw food. Wash your hands and clean utensils when moving from working with raw food to cooked food. 4. Understand how to store food — store food for as short a time as possible and keep perishable food in the fridge. Pay attention to “use by” dates. Keep food covered in containers or with cling wrap. In SA’s hot climate, it is best to thaw out food in the fridge rather than at room temperature, and cook or eat immediately after thawing. 5. Always wash fruit and vegetables before cooking or eating.