A criminal inquiry is under way following the discovery of a battery inside a Co-op chocolate Easter bunny.

Police and the National Crime Agency are investigating the alleged tampering following the incident in Nottingham, the supermarket said.

It comes after an incident at Christmas when batteries were found inside two of the store’s chocolate Santas.

A nationwide recall of the hollow milk chocolate bunnies has been issued as police investigate.

Tammy-Louise Dundon, from Bulwell in Nottingham, bought the Easter bunny for her daughter Sophia Wood.

The three-year-old saw the single-cell battery, similar to those found in hearing aids, as she bit the ears off the rabbit.

Ms Dundon, 26, told the Nottingham Post: “If my daughter had swallowed it, it doesn’t bear thinking about.

“This isn’t just a choking hazard. It’s corrosive – she could have lost her life.

A Co-op spokesman said: “We are concerned about one incident of alleged product tampering involving our hollow milk chocolate Easter bunny foil figure, which has been found to contain a small battery inside.

“This follows an incident at Christmas when two similar products were targeted and contaminated.”

Just over 3,000 of the foil figure bunnies have been sold, at a cost of £1 each, and customers have been told they can return them to stores for a refund.