An after-work snack turned into quite a shock for a Winnipeg man recently, when he bit into a stainless steel screw inside a pizza pocket.

Ernest Lefebvre says he's heard horror stories of people finding foreign objects in their food, but he never thought he would find something inside one of his favourite snacks.


Ernest Lefebvre says he and his family are no longer eating processed foods, after he found a steel screw inside a pizza pocket in November. (CBC)

"I feel everyone should know that, you know, the product that I bought may contain nuts or bolts," Lefebvre told CBC News on Tuesday.

Lefebvre said the trouble started one day in November, after he grabbed a frozen pepperoni pizza snack — packaged by Winnipeg-based Naleway Foods Ltd. — and heated it up in the microwave.

"I bit down — crunch goes my tooth," he recalled.

"At first, I thought something happened to my tooth. But I spit out my bite and lo and behold, this screw."

Lefebvre contacted Naleway Foods, which confirmed the steel screw did come from its facility.

"They're saying it came from a machine that must've [shaken] loose and they don't know how it got past the metal detectors," he said.

No recall necessary, says expert

No metal detector is foolproof, but a recall would not be necessary in this type of case, said Rick Holley, a food sciences professor at the University of Manitoba.

"The frequency with which it might happen is not that great," Holley said.

"By that, I simply mean that all of the food in that lot is not necessarily going to be contaminated by one screw."

This week, Lefebvre received a letter from Naleway Foods explaining what happened, as well as a $100 cheque as compensation.

However, Lefebvre said he still wants people to know what happened.

"I bit down on a bolt. What's that worth? I feel the public should know," he said.

Officials with Naleway Foods did not return requests for comment on Tuesday.

The company has previously said changes have been made to its metal detection procedures and equipment.

As for Lefebvre, he said he and his family aren't going to eat any more processed foods, including pizza pockets, as a result of his experience.