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‘Ghost pepper hot’: Ontario dad says son burned by defective Alpha-Getti

An Ontario father is hoping Kraft Heinz will pull a batch of Alphagetti off the shelves after it burned his son's mouth. .
An Ontario father is hoping Kraft Heinz will pull a batch of Alphagetti off the shelves after it burned his son's mouth. . Tim Welch/Facebook

An Ontario man is hoping Kraft Heinz will remove a batch of Alpha-Getti pasta off store shelves after he says a can he bought caused his mouth to burn, tongue to swell and stomach to linger in pain.

Timothy Welch, from Delhi, Ont., said on April 9 his wife opened up a can of Heinz Alpha-Getti, heated it up and gave it to their nine-year-old son. The boy took a bite but then immediately pulled away.

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“He put around two noodles in his mouth and his mouth started burning really bad. He was almost crying. I told him, ‘it can’t be that hot,'” Welch said.

So Welch decided to take a bite and find out.

“I took a spoonful and put it in my mouth. Almost instantly my mouth started to burn and I spit the noodles out,” he said.

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“My eyes started to water because it was so hot. I was drooling, my tongue was burnt and my throat was burnt.”

He said his tongue turned bright red (almost like he had bitten it) and around four to five hours later, his stomach was still hurting from the spice.

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“I don’t know if it was a spice or some type of chemical or cleaner. But it burned the inside of my mouth as bad as a ghost pepper,” he said.

He says he phoned Heinz right away to report the problem, telling a manager when he bought the can (April 3) and the batch number — QP7H11 with a best before date of Aug. 11, 2019.

But since phoning, he said he has yet to hear back from the company. So he still has no idea what was in the can.

READ MORE: 5 things a Canadian food safety expert will never eat

Global News reached out to Kraft Heinz to see if the company was investigating.

“We take complaints very seriously,” a spokesperson stated in an email. “We have conducted an investigation and our manufacturing records show that this product was made following our rigorous quality and food safety standards. We are currently testing the product to better understand the consumer reports of spicy and hot flavours.”

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Heinz said the company does not have any evidence to suggest the product is unsafe.

But the news did not bring Welch any comfort and he decided to share his experience on Facebook. He took a picture of another can he bought from the same batch.

HIs post has been shared more than 25,000 times and people across the country are emailing Welch, saying they have the same batch number.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is also investigating and Welch said an inspector is coming to his house Thursday to test the cans.

But in the meantime, Alpha-Getti is off the table in his house.

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“We’ve always had Alpha-Getti in the house,” he said. “My son says he will never eat it again. He is scared. Any child would be scared of eating one of their favourite foods once you have that experience.”

He said he’s also concerned that the cans have still not been pulled off the shelves.

“Why won’t they pull the cans? Am I upset about it? Of course, if it was a little baby and a mother was feeding it … the mother would not know. It could have killed the kid, I am not going to lie. It was that hot,” he said.

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