The supermarket’s social media feeds were bombarded by angry customers who claimed the centrepiece of their festive meal was either inedible or had made people ill.
Among them was Kirsten Shore, an events manager from Stafford, who said she was “devastated” that her Christmas meal was ruined.
She tweeted: “Thanks @Tesco for selling me a gone off turkey & wrecking my 1st xmas day cooked at my home! £250 wasted, an awful meal and 8sick people!”
The 29-year-old, who alongside her husband Dan was hosting their first family Christmas, said they realised something was wrong when they tasted the turkey and the gravy made from the giblets.
She said: “My mum bought the turkey and prepared it and we put it in the fridge. Then we cooked it and I was so proud of it.
“It seemed fine and we sat down at the dinner table and everybody seemed a bit quiet.
“I took a mouthful of turkey and spat it out. It tasted of bleach and everyone else realised the reason everything was a bit funny was because the gravy was made from the giblets.
“It’s almost like they’ve washed the turkey in bleach – it was awful.
“It cost me £250 to buy everything and we had to chuck everything away.”
She said she is yet to hear from Tesco since she messaged them on Christmas Day and wanted an apology.
“I’m not going to lie, I know it sounds ridiculous, but it broke my heart – it ruined the day,” she said.
“From just one mouthful we’ve all been really ill.”
Tesco apologised to Maria Savva-Chirambo after she tweeted: “@Tesco Have not had a reponse to my message dated Xmas Eve 24th Dec about my gone off turkey,Please assist.”
A member of the supermarket’s social media team replied: “Hi Maria I’m very sorry your turkey was off and I can understand how disappointing this would be. Can you send us a DM confirming your full name, address, postcode and email address you log into your account with? 1/2”
Other complaints included those from Craig Spooner, who tweeted: “Thanks for ruining Christmas dinner @Tesco In date fresh turkey roast in tin breast gone off. No Christmas dinner for us this year. Raiding freezer for turkey replacement, @BirdsEye chicken chargrill currently in pole position. #HouseStinksOfRottenTurkey #ChristmasDinnerRuined.”
And Craig Taylor, who vented: “@Tesco well thank you for ruining my Christmas dinner with the rotten turkey you sold us!! Absolutely disgusting smell can’t get rid of it. stored correctly and now have no turkey for Xmas.”
A Tesco spokesman said: “We’ve sold hundreds of thousands of great quality British turkeys this Christmas.
“We have exceptionally high standards so we will look to address the small number of complaints in recent days.
“We will get in touch with each customer so we can investigate how these instances may have happened.”