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This photo taken Monday, Feb. 5, 2018, shows Michelle Carr, a nurse and new mother living in Kittery, Maine, holding a dead lizard that she found while eating a salad. (Rich Beauchesne/Portsmouth Herald via AP)

Unwanted lunch guest: Woman finds dead lizard in grocery store lettuce


By Taylor Cairns

KITTERY, Maine (WGME) — Michelle Carr and her then 10-week-old baby boy were enjoying lunch a couple weeks ago when she saw the surprise of a lifetime.

"My immediate reaction was did I seriously just find a lizard in my salad?" she said.

Carr, who lives in Kittery, says that she purchased a three-pack of romaine lettuce from a local Shaw's. She says that she made a salad for lunch, and got a couple bites in before realizing she wasn't dining alone.

"As soon as I saw it I threw up three times all over my kitchen floor," she said.

The lizard, which she says has been identified as a blue-bellied lizard, was found missing a tail. She says that she is fearful she may have swallowed it.

"I called the Department of Health and Human Services of New Hampshire, they let me know I was on Salmonella and E-coli watch for five days. Both myself and my son," she said.

She says the concern for her son is because she breastfeeds.

"Whether I'm eating it, drinking it, or breathing it, my son is getting it. So that was most the freighting part," she said.


CBS13 reached out to the FDA about their investigation into the matter and they released the following statement:

"The FDA takes consumer complaints very seriously and is looking into the matter. To date, we have not received any other related complaints and the FDA will promptly alert consumers if we find that they need to take any action to protect their health.

The FDA encourages anyone who has had an adverse reaction or found something unusual in a food product to report the product information, any symptoms, medical records, and any other relevant information to their local FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinator."

Carr says she doesn't blame Shaw's, and says that it's the distributors fault for packaging a dead creature.

"I don't want to come across as a mean person. I just want to make people aware that this can happen around here. People should make sure to really check their lettuce and other produce items. I thought I did it well, but I guess not well enough," she said.

Shaw's representatives released the following statement about the matter:

"Shaw's takes all issues regarding the quality and safety of any product sold in our stores very seriously. We were notified of this matter and immediately informed the supplier. We are working with the supplier to determine the cause and the steps needed to prevent this from reoccurring."

Carr says she will keep the body of the lizard frozen in her house in case it's needed for testing. She says afterwards it will go in the garbage with the rest of the romaine lettuce.

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