Federal officials are investigating a report from a Maine woman who said she found a dead lizard while eating in salad made with a bag of chopped lettuce from California, according to state officials.
When Michelle Carr of Kittery, ME, found the dead reptile with her salad fork, she “immediately started to retch,” both WMUR Channel 9 News and seacoastonline.com reported.
Afraid for her health, she contacted the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the management of the Shaw’s grocery store where she bought the bagged salad.
State officials told her the situation was not under their jurisdiction because the bagged lettuce was from California, local media reported.
A spokesperson from the state health department said the FDA is investigating the situation.
Channel 9 News reported that a spokesperson for Shaw’s said the company is working with its lettuce supplier to investigate the situation.
Carr, who is a registered nurse, told local reporters she was especially concerned when she found the 3-inch-long, dead lizard in her salad because its tail was missing. She wasn’t sure if she had ingested the tail and is worried that she may have been exposed to Salmonella or E. coli, even if she didn’t swallow the tail.
Reptiles are known to carry those and other bacteria, viruses and parasites, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
As a nursing mother, Carr and her newborn both are in high risk categories for serious infection from pathogenic bacteria.
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