Waitress has a phobia of tomatoes, but loves ketchup

Waitress Kayleigh Barker should probably consider a career change as she has a phobia of tomatoes.

She runs at the sight of one, which can be pretty tricky when someone orders a salad.

‘If there a tomato on my plate I will not go anywhere near it, I can’t even look at it,’ said the 22- year-old of Southampton.

‘One time, a friend filled up my pockets with a few tomatoes for a joke and they got squashed – I cried my eyes out. Another time, my boss made me close my eyes. She told me she had a present for me and put a tomato in my hand.

‘I just ran out of the restaurant. I couldn’t work for the rest of the day.'

Her fear of tomatoes – called Lycopersicoa phobia – doesn’t extend to ketchup, as she loves the stuff.

Psychologist Peter Hayward has 25 years’ experience treating phobias but was stumped by Kayleigh’s problem.

‘I think it is pretty weird, to be honest,’ he said.

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