In recent years, dozens of people in the United States who bought pre-packaged salads from local grocery stores have had an unpleasant surprise. The consumers found some ingredients unexpected in the product such as frogs, lizards, rodents and even a bat.
Among all recorded occurrences, about 10 cases reported that the animals were still alive. According to research released recently, such a situation appears to be nothing new. In the last decade alone, 38 animals have been found in this kind of product that supposedly should be healthy.
Of the animals found in the salad, about 53 percent were frogs, 23 percent were reptiles, and nearly 18 percent were mammals. The rest, 6% in this case, were birds. Most mammals were rodents. However, the case involving the bat’s presence in the product received significantly more media attention .
Still according to the survey data, the presence of animals was three times more common in salads packed in conventional bags than in organic vegetables. In addition to the animals already mentioned, the research also reports that there are “numerous examples” of invertebrate life in packaged salads.
Pre-packaged salads began to gain market share in the 1980s. Rapid industrial growth and growing reliance on automated production may explain how small animals have managed to push the boundaries of food security.
Whether these occurrences indicate a food security crisis or a complaint against food quality remains unclear . The authorities’ next step is to identify how and when the animals were able to reach the product packaging.
In 2017, consumers in the state of Florida were surprised after buying a salad at a Walmart supermarket unit. There was a decaying bat in the product. The animal was in the packaging of an organic salad belonging to the brand Fresh Express. The bat was sent for analysis. The goal was to check for traces of the rabies virus.
The company recalled the batch of salads of the same line that were shipped to supermarket units in the same US region. In a statement, the company said supermarkets should quickly remove products from shelves.
American Becky Garfinkel of Corona, California, found a frog in her salad. Becky ate the product quietly when she realized the lettuce was moving on its own. The amphibian, according to the American, was very weak and did not move much. Becky’s husband decided to massage the amphibian’s chest to see if he was getting better. And isn’t it that the frog took a deep breath and showed signs that it was better?
After saving the amphibian’s life, Becky decided to stay with him as a pet. The frog got its name from Lucky. As for the salad, the American said Target has opened an investigation, but offered a shopping card of only $ 5, as compensation. The amount did not cover even the expenses with the meal.
Importantly, such cases do not appear to have occurred in the United States alone. In 2012, consumers in Southampton, Great Britain, also found a live frog in a grocery salad bag.