Wattie's is investigating after customers say they found nasty surprises in their cans of fruit salad -- with one mother claiming to have found a dead reptile and another black mould.
A family from Waihi discovered what is believed to be a gecko in a Wattie's 425g Pick of the Crop tropical fruit salad can bought from the supermarket.
Sharyn Malcolm said her sons Rhyan, 15, and Cameron, 9, had been looking forward to a snack on Friday afternoon when they found the dead lizard.
"It was at the bottom of the can, definitely," Ms Malcolm said. "The tail broke off it."
The offending lizard.
The tail's resting place was a mystery, she said. "I'm not sure if Cameron ate it or threw it in the rubbish bin."
EcoGecko Consultants principal ecologist Sarah Herbert confirmed it was a species of gecko, possibly a native of Thailand, where the product is believed to have been canned.
Ms Malcolm said after uncovering the critter she called a Wattie's customer service number to complain, but was rebuffed.
News of the find has prompted Northland woman Diana Moore to speak out about her own disgusting discovery.
Ms Moore said the Maungaturoto family often ate fruit salad for breakfast, but upon returning home from the supermarket earlier this year, they discovered black mould in all six cans of Wattie's fruit salad they had purchased.
She said when she contacted Wattie's she did not feel as though her complaint was taken seriously.
"Wattie's said transit of the product from the supermarket to our place must've had something to do with it."
However, Ms Moore said she had transported the cans directly home from the supermarket, before storing them in a cool dry place.
She said she was sent an $8 voucher for Wattie's products as compensation, which did not even cover the price of the six cans of fruit.
"It's understandable that companies are going to have things like that happen and that's fine, but I think it is their response to those things that matter."
A Wattie's spokesman said it took complaints of this nature very seriously.
"We are very disappointed to hear such reports. They will be followed up thoroughly.
"Wattie's people are very passionate about their products and seek to ensure nothing but happy and satisfied consumers.
"From reports we're reading these consumers are not and we need to investigate these matters."
In response to the gecko report, a spokesman for the Ministry for Primary Industries said such incidents did not occur often but were taken very seriously.
"We'd advise the consumer to get in contact with the retailer, where they bought it. And then we'd expect the retailer to get in touch with the importer, so the importer could seek an explanation from the manufacturer."