Feb. 7 (UPI) -- A Maine woman eating a bagged salad she purchased from a grocery store said she was disgusted to stab an object with her fork that turned out to be a lizard.
Michelle Carr of Kittery said she was nearly finished with the salad she had purchased from Shaw's supermarket in Portsmouth when she discovered the 3-inch reptile, which was dead and missing its tail.
"I put my fork into my salad after a couple of bites and realized that my fork was not in an avocado slice," she told WMUR-TV. "It was a lizard."
"It was longer than my middle finger without its tail," Carr told Seacoastonline.com. "We're not talking about a spider or a bug or even a little salamander. This was a huge lizard with scales. I instantly retched and I was revolted because I thought for a second I could've eaten its tail."
Carr said she asked a biologist friend from New Hampshire to look at the lizard and they identified it as a blue-bellied lizard, native to California.
"How could this happen?" she said. "The first time and only time I've ever bought a bag of prepackaged lettuce, this happens. Go figure."
Carr said she is concerned about the potential dangers to her newborn son.
"I've been breastfeeding almost non-stop since he was born," Carr said. "This boils down to a quality-control issue. I don't have a malicious bone in my body, and I can get past the emotional distress an incident like this causes but I could've gotten really sick. It's taken me 10 years to become a mother and this could've been potentially harmful to my newborn."
Carr said she reported the incident to the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, which said the complaint was passed on to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
FDA spokesman Peter Cassell confirmed an investigation is underway.
"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," Cassell said.
Shaw's spokeswoman Teresa Edington said the store notified the bagged salad supplier of Carr's discovery.
"Shaw's takes all issues regarding the quality and safety of any product sold in our stores very seriously," Edington said. "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."