More parents have admitted mistakenly trying to feed their children dog food after a pet snack pack featuring a well-known kids cartoon was put next to chips in a supermarket.
The store owners have apologised after dozens of horrified parents have said they bought the Scooby Snacks for their youngsters from the Whanganui Pak'n Save this week to eat at school and kindergarten.
They were shocked to discover the 30g individual carob snack treats were never intended for human consumption but were animal snacks.
Notices have gone up around Whanganui preschools and staff are checking lunchboxes to make sure children aren't eating the wrong food.
"I wondered why my boy didn't like the taste of them," posted a parent on Facebook.
One parent popped a doggie treat in her mouth after her child rejected it.
"I got these today not knowing they were dog food [and] tried giving one to my 1 year old. Lucky he wasnt hungry and I ended up eating one and spitting it back out followed by reading the packet more," she posted on Facebook.
Another parent said she bought a Scooby Snack multipack on Tuesday during her weekly shop believing it was children's food.
"I was absolutely mortified when I gave them to my daughter. She took one bite and said, 'this is rubbish'.
"I looked at the packet closely and gasped, 'Oh no, I am so sorry. I just fed you dog food'."
She said many people had been caught out by the placement of the pet-food multipack next to similar style chip multipacks.
Yet another parent admitted feeding their child the snacks, which the child enjoyed.
A multipack of shaped biscuit snacks called Scooby-Doo! and featuring the same cartoon character is also available in supermarkets.
Antoinette Laird, head of external relations, Foodstuffs NZ, said Pak'n Save displayed the dog treats in its 'Aisle of Value' area and the bin was clearly labelled as 'pet treats' but some customers mistook them for human food.
"The store relocated the product to the pet food aisle, and has since decided to withdraw the product from sale and return it to the supplier," Ms Laird said.
The product packaging states the product is a 'pet food product only, human-friendly but not recommended'.
"On reflection, we can see how the cartoon characters on the packaging might be confusing," Ms Laird said.
"We apologise for any distress this has caused to anyone who bought the product by mistake and will happily offer a refund to any customer in this position."
One concerned mother said she had contacted Pak'n Save about the mix-up. She said they appeared more amused than concerned people would buy them to eat.
She said people were often in a rush and duped by similar packaging. There was also nothing at the store to indicate it was pet food.
One young woman however, confessed to eating two packets and they tasted "pretty good tbh".