A snake head in the green beans? 'I gagged and screamed'

A snake head in the green beans? 'I gagged and screamed' »Play Video
Photo courtesy Misty Moser.

GLADSTONE, Ore. - Like any good mom, Misty Moser was just encouraging her two little girls, 6 and 2, to eat more veggies.

"It's taken a long time to get my (older) daughter to eat vegetables," Moser said.

So on Thursday evening, Moser popped open a bag of Kroger-brand, frozen green beans for dinner. But when Misty poured the 'all natural' beans into a pan, she noticed something very unnatural inside --what appeared to be a severed snake head.

"I'm like 'oh my God, it has a mouth and it has nostrils and it has eyes!'" Moser said. "It freaked me out. I gagged and I screamed, I called my boyfriend at work - 'I don't know what to do!' He's like, 'call the company.'"

That's exactly what she did.

Moser called the number on the back of the bag, which she bought at a Fred Meyer in Oak Grove. She said a customer service representative offered her a $15 store coupon and told her to file a claim.

But Moser felt like the company brushed off her concerns, so she contacted the On Your Side Investigators.

KATU contacted Fred Meyer corporate spokeswoman, Melinda Merrill, and asked about the grocer failing to take Moser's concerns seriously.

"It sounds like they weren't. She absolutely shouldn't have been treated this way and it shouldn't have been handled this way," Merrill said in a phone interview.

After KATU contacted Merrill, she said the company would launch an investigation. She explained that Fred Meyer has several manufacturering plants and part of the investigation will be to track down the right one and figure out exactly how this happened. She said the company will be tracking down if any other foreign objects are in any other products.

"We'll take care of her and we will take this very seriously," Merrill said.

For now, it looks like it'll be a while before Moser's kiddos sink their teeth into any more greens.

"It's going to take her a long time to convince her to go back to vegetables," Moser said.

Meanwhile, KATU spent time confirming if the critter was, in fact, a snake.

The On Your Side Investigators contacted Hova Najarian, the spokesperson for the Oregon Zoo. He said a keeper at the zoo "agreed that it looks like a snake head, but had no idea what kind."

KATU also contacted Brad Tylman, of Brad's World Reptiles, in Corvallis who believed the critter was a frog - possibly a tree frog.


UPDATE:

Fred Meyer's investigation found the manufacturing plant that processed the frozen green beans did not violate any food or health safety regulations.

Fred Meyer spokesperson, Melinda Merrill, told KATU, "These are fresh vegetables, from Oregon farms. They come in from the field with critters in them - snakes, frogs, lizards, worms, bugs - they live in these fields and on these vegetables in Oregon. The processing of the vegetables should remove all of them, and near the end of the line there are humans who inspect the batches and remove anything that's made it through the processing. But the steps in the process missed this."

Merrill says the manufacturer guarantees the food is safe, healthy, and free of bacteria that will harm people.

While no formal determination has been made, Merrill said the creature in question was more likely a frog, as opposed to a snake.

The customer received a Fred Meyer gift card for her troubles.


We found out about the snake head from a news tip. If you want to alert us to something happening in your community, email us at newstips@katu.com.