Woman finds lizard in bag of store-brand romaine lettuce

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A mother of 10-week-old newborn boy found a lizard in bag of store-brand romaine lettuce she purchased from Shaw’s supermarket in Portsmouth in the last week of January.

Michelle Carr has taken to YouTube and social media platforms to reveal the incident. She says that the lizard with scales was longer than her middle finger. She said as she washed her lettuce, inverted it to drain, ripped it apart by hand and threw on some grape tomatoes, olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and stuck her fork into something firm and found it was a tail-less carcass of a lizard.

Carr, who is a nurse, she got into an initial shock that she may have eaten the tail of the lizard. After she got over the initial shock of finding a dead reptile in her romaine, she was instantly fearful she could have ingested harmful bacteria and was required to be on a five-day salmonella and E. coli watch. She said she is concerned about a wider-public health issue with several recalls of romaine lettuce for various bacteria concerns, including E. coli, over the past couple years.

Carr said she then called representatives at the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (NHDHHS), Shaw’s and the Food and Drug Administration but had not yet heard if her complaint was being investigated. NHDHHS has confirmed they have received a complaint from Carr regarding what she found in the packaged lettuce.

Shaw’s external communications and community relations manager Teresa Edington said once the store was notified of the lizard being found they immediately notified the supplier.

“Shaw’s takes all issues regarding the quality and safety of any product sold in our stores very seriously,” said Edington. “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.”

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