Allied Bakeries, part of UK food maker Associated British Foods (ABF), has said it is investigating a number of consumer complaints relating to a variety of foreign objects found in bread produced at its Orpington Bakery.

The company, which said it was working with the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and the police on the matter, said that in recent weeks it has received five complaints involving fragments of glass or sewing needles in Kingsmill sliced bread. The foreign bodies were clearly visible once the bread bag was opened and were not embedded in the bread.

"It is important to emphasise that the number of complaints represents a very small proportion of the total amount of loaves (2.5 million per week) produced by the bakery," Allied Bakeries said.

The company urged consumers to be vigilant and said it had significantly increased security at the Orpington site in order to minimise the risk of further tampering.

The Orpington bakery distributes to retailers across the South East of England including Bookers, Iceland, Londis, Sainsbury's, Spar, Tesco and a range of smaller retail outlets. However, according to the FSA, there have been no reports of foreign objects found in bread sold by these retailers under their own labels.