Lettuce and Lizards: 1 Woman's Salad Surprise Turns Into Disgust
KITTERY, Maine — A lot of ingredients go into a salad but maybe not a lizard with a missing tail.
On Jan. 22, Michelle Carr, of Kittery, Maine, was an enjoying her salad when she speared a piece of what she thought was avocado, but turned out to be a small lizard.
Carr posted to Facebook to share her shock and disgust, telling her network that she's "already thrown up three times.
The incident followed an impromptu shopping trip Jan. 19 to the Shaw's in Portsmouth, N.H., with her sister. In an uncharacteristic move, Carr bought a bag of three prepackaged prewashed Romaine hearts.
As she made her salad the following Monday, Carr realized that what she was about to bite into was not a piece of avocado but an estimated 4-inch body of perhaps a blue bellied lizard which is native to California, according to Carr's friend who is a biologist.
"I proceeded to retch and vomit," Carr told NH1.com on Tuesday. She said there is no way to know if she ingested the severed tail.
"I just want to raise the bar," said Carr who then spent the rest of the week trying to find who to hold accountable.
Throughout the rest of the week, Carr called the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services who said Carr needed to be on salmonella and E. coli watch for a week not only for her but her newborn son as well whom she is breastfeeding
Carr said that the lizard carcass is currently stored in her freezer in case it needs to be tested.
DHHS deferred the issue to the Food and Drug Administration who Carr was not able to reach, and Shaw's reached out to Carr stating that the grocery store company was not at fault.
Carr believes the incident is a public health issue and wants people to know, "to be diligent and grow your own and support local farmers if you can and if you are going to buy produce," Carr said, "make sure you thoroughly wash it."
As for those who don't believe her statement, Carr said, "What would you do if you found a dead lizard in your salad?"