Imagine the horror if your perfectly fresh leafy salad turned out to have a lizard in it, that too without a tail. And you have no way of finding out whether you ate the tail like a piece of carrot. That is exactly what happened to a woman from Portsmouth, who bought lettuce from Shaw's supermarket.
Michelle Carr from Kittery, Maine, had a horrific experience when she sat down to enjoy her salad. The sight of a tail-less lizard's corpse in the lettuce made her throw up in disgust. The three-inch-long reptile was hidden among the pre-packaged leafy-greens.
Carr explained that it was her first purchase of packaged lettuce from a supermarket, and probably the last. She had washed the romaine lettuce and made a salad out of it.
While eating, her fork got stuck in something that turned out not to be a piece of vegetable, but the dead body of a lizard. Her friend identified the creature as a blue-bellied lizard from California. But what worries Carr most is the absence of a tail on the reptile.
"There's no way to know whether or not I actually ingested the tail or not," Carr told WMUR. She is primarily scared as she is a breast-feeding mother. The chances of salmonella and E. coli exposure for her new-born baby has made her consult the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, the Food and Drug Administration and Shaw's supermarket for answers, which she is yet to receive.
Shaw's spokesperson has said that they are consulting with the lettuce supplier to prevent any such incident happening in the future. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is also investigating the incident.
Carr also expressed caution about eating vegetables and fruits without inspecting them properly. Previously, it was canned drinks and packaged snacks that housed dead creatures and other gruesome things. Now, the danger has trickled to fresh veggies as well.
It is apt to say that no matter what eatable you buy and from where, take a good look at it before putting it in your mouth.