Snakehead Found In Can Of Green Beans

It is a symptom of our curious existence that while processed vegetables and fruits give us the constant convenience of food that has been cleaned and prepared, the truth remains that mechanization and automation of the processing is imperfect, and the price we pay for never having to pull a bean from a garden is that, occasionally, there will be a decapitated snakehead on our dinnerplate.

Earl Hartman from South Philadelphia will testify to this, if you ask him. He found a snakehead between his chicken and buttered noodles. From NBC 10:

“When I sat down, I noticed something didn’t look right. It didn’t loot like a green bean,” he said. Hartman said he called the Pathmark where he bought the beans and Thursday received a call from Seneca Foods in upstate New York, where the vegetables were canned.

“The company said that they have an automated sorting and sometimes things like this happen. I asked about the rest of the body and he told me that it was probably kicked out by the sorter, but they’re not sure,” he said.

Of course there are places in the world where they might not have thrown out the green beans and considered the snake a delicacy, but South Philadelphia doesn’t happen to be one of them.

“I want people to know and to be aware what may be in your food before you eat it. Just check it out,” he said.

Hartman said Seneca Foods is sending him some sort of container so he can ship the snakehead back to them. Yum. —MEGHANN MARCO

Snakehead Found In Green Beans Can [NBC10] (Thanks, Nicole!)


Edit Your Comment

  1. B says:

    Ewww, canned green beans.

  2. dbeahn says:

    Well that was enough to make me spit out my beef jerky….

  3. Skiffer says:

    Way to post this right before lunch…Thanks Meghann

  4. partyone says:

    Snake heads snake heads, rolly polly snake heads, snake heads snake heads eat ’em up Uhhhhhhhhmmmmmm Not…… No more Fake Chinese imported via Zimbabwean canned in a tainted dog food factory green beans.

  5. faust1200 says:

    I never pass up this opportunity so I apologize in advance: I’m tired of these motherfuckin snakeheads in my motherfuckin beans!

  6. Arlahna says:

    What I want to know is, why didn’t he notice it when he put it in a pot to cook? Something that big really should’ve been obvious.

  7. Starfury says:

    Tastes like chicken!

  8. partyone says:

    Personally i’d rather have snakeheads than the RIAA. At least the snakheads are honest about what they are.

  9. reeg2 says:

    the probability of this being true is virtually nill. if this companies quality controls and ccp’s are so lax, they’d already have eaten shit from the usda/fda.

  10. Skiffer says:

    @reeg2: Stuff does make it through, no quality control is 100%…

  11. Amsterdaam says:


    Faust FTW!

  12. ChrisC1234 says:

    What grosses me out about this is the fact that this guy is the one who found the actual snakehead in his green beans (and consequently, didn’t actually eat the green beans), so I consider him the lucky one. How many other consumers had cans of green beans that were cooked WITH the snakehead (and possibly other snake parts too), and ate everything without ever knowing what they were eating

  13. sonichghog says:

    I can see how this passed the quality control. The sensor probably saw that it was green, so it passed through.

    Also the Snake head can be the size of a pea.

  14. LowerHouseMember says:

    The fact that he says he doesn’t intend to sue restores my faith in humanity a little.

  15. Schminteresting says:


    I completely agree. This whole thing gives me a serious case of the heebie jeebies. *shudder*

  16. Libelous1 says:

    No big deal… the snake was in the plant only to eat the rats.

  17. adminslave says:

    The last time I was in a Pathmark (in NY) the girl at the register had a large, gaping and only half bandaged arm wound. She was handling all the food with this pulsating forearm. Nothing good can come from Pathmark.

  18. gamble says:

    Doesn’t anyone else think its a little weird that the company wants the snake head back?

  19. Charles Duffy says:

    @gamble: Not really. After all, they’ve got a bug in their sorter that needs fixing. Can’t very well test whether you’ve fixed a bug without being able to reproduce it. (Of course, a cast or mold should do just fine for that — but they need the object to base it off of).

  20. mopar_man says:

    What are the chances this can was bought at Wal-Mart?

  21. gamble says:

    @Charles Duffy: Wouldn’t it make more sense to divise some kind of filter that will remove everything that goes through their line that’s bigger than, say, a green bean? Also, extensive checking by a real person would do a lot of good. To just make things so snakeheads can’t get through wouldn’t fix the larger problem here. Otherwise, next time it will be a mouse’s head. Or a cockroach. Or a fiddler crab. Perhaps even a hummingbird.

  22. acceptablerisk says:

    Am I in the minority when I say I don’t think this is a big deal? Animal parts end up in all kinds of food. It’s the consequence of mechanical sorting.

    I’d probably call the manufacturer just to let them know, but I don’t think I’d be that concerned about it.

  23. CyGuy says:

    Unless you’re talking about the invasive species of fish now being found in Mid-Atlantic waterways, snake head should be two words, and not one.

  24. says:

    Odds are the experience was much worse for the snake…