Tesco has been forced to apologise to customers following a series of complaints about its “rotten” Christmas turkeys.

The supermarket giant has vowed to investigate after shoppers took to social media to claim that their meat had gone off, “ruining” Christmas Day for their families.

Tesco insisted there were only a “small number of complaints” and said it had sold “hundreds of thousands of great-quality” turkeys over the festive period.

But a number of the grocer’s customers used Facebook and Twitter to criticise the turkeys from Tesco’s Finest range, which cost up to £59.

Alison Kendall, from Essex, wrote: “Thank you Tesco for the Finest Turkey Crown with a sell-by date of 26/12 that had gone off by the 25th… ruining our Christmas dinner.

“Imagine my sheer panic at 6am on Xmas Day, opening the turkey wrap to be hit by that ‘gone off’ smell with 10 people coming to Xmas dinner.”

Kirsten Shore, from Staffordshire, added: “Snap! We had the same problem!

“Our first time hosting and a rotten turkey from Tesco ruined our day! I’m devastated!

“Thanks Tesco for selling me a gone off turkey and wrecking my first Christmas day cooked at my home! £250 wasted. An awful meal and eight sick people!”

‘Small number of complaints’

Tesco apologised to those affected on social media and offered them a refund.

A spokesman for the grocer 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.”