A mum suffered chemical burns when she accidentally ate a handful of mini fireworks she thought were popping candy.
Lisa Boothroyd, 48, claims she found the multicoloured box of Fun Snaps among the lollipops in Costcutter when she was buying snacks for her and her neighbours.
But when she threw a handful into her mouth at home and bit down she realised they weren’t treats – and were actually small novelty fireworks sold as trick noisemakers.
They exploded in her mouth and she was in instant agony, and left with chemical burns on her lips and gums, said Lisa, from Rugby, Warwickshire.
She claims the in-mouth explosions also cracked a tooth, and she was prescribed strong painkillers to combat the soreness.
She said it felt like her mouth was “on fire” for weeks and she could barely eat or sleep.
A month on, the burns have healed but she said she’s still waiting for an appointment to repair her cracked tooth.
Lisa, an unemployed mum-of-one, said: “I remember the moment I crunched down on a handful of the ‘sweets’ – and instantly felt explosions in my mouth.
“I felt a burning pain straight away.
“I’m still in agony and nearly lost a tooth after it cracked from the explosion.
“The ‘fun snaps’ were with all the other sweets, and the packaging was similar, so it was an easy mistake to make.
“I just keep thinking what could have happened if I’d given them to a child – they could’ve blown her mouth apart.”
Lisa claims she found the rainbow-coloured box in the confectionery aisle at a Costcutter on December 9.
The box reads ‘Fun Snaps’ along with ‘Snap! Crack! Bang!’ – which led her to assume it was popping candy, she alleges.
Popping several in her mouth, she immediately realised something was wrong – but not before they all exploded, leaving her with chemical burns and a cracked tooth.
She said: “That moment I crunched down was terrifying, I had no idea what was happening.
“I felt explosions in my mouth followed by a burning pain.”
Immediately spitting out the tiny fireworks, she swilled her mouth out with water to numb the burning pain – and when she checked the label on the box, she was shocked to realise what had happened, she said.
Ringing NHS Direct, she was told to get medical help due to the chemical burns the snaps had caused – and when she attended a doctors appointment the following Monday, she was prescribed strong painkillers.
Attending an emergency dental appointment the same day, she recalled being ‘terrified’ she’d lose all her teeth, when the dentist revealed several were loose and one was cracked.
She said: “I was still shaking and in shock the next day, and I was still in so much pain.
“I had no idea what fun snaps even were, and it’s shocking that they were in the same aisle as all the children’s sweets.”
Fun Snaps – also known as poppers, and snappers – are tiny fireworks made of gravel or sand with a minute quantity of silver fulminate high explosive, inside twisted paper.
The friction-sensitive chemical detonates when stepped on or thrown on a hard surface, making a small bang.
Lisa said she couldn’t bite down or eat anything apart from bread and butter, or mashed-up Weetabix, for more than a week.
She said she was unable to sleep for weeks due to the chemical burns in her mouth – because she would wake up in the night and it would feel “like it was on fire”.
She said: “I just can’t believe how much damage those little ‘snaps’ did to my mouth.
“Worst of all, they were amongst all the children’s sweets – who knows what could have happened if a child had made the same mistake as me?”
She said she is “still in shock” over what happened.
She added: “Although my injuries were horrible, I’m just relieved I didn’t end up losing a tooth.
“I just hope nobody else makes the same mistake as me.”
A spokesperson at Costcutter said: “The safety of shoppers is our main priority, so we were very concerned to hear about this incident.
“We have spoken to the independent retailer who operates this store under our Costcutter brand fascia and they have assured us they will remove this item from the confectionary section with immediate effect.”