Bag Of Fresh Spinach Includes Free Dead Mouse

A fresh salad and some lean protein make a fine dinner, but a couple in Georgia are kind of freaked out at the freebie that came in their bag of pre-washed spinach. After eating most of the package, they found a fresh dead mouse at the bottom. How did it get there?

The good news is that the state department of agriculture sent inspectors over to the plant where the spinach was packaged immediately. They didn’t find any rodent infestations or anything else suspicious, which is good, but also doesn’t explain where the mouse in the bag came from.

(Here’s a photo of the mouse, if you’re morbidly curious.)

The spinach came from Fresh Express, a Chiquita brand that happens to package spinach at a plant in Georgia. In the winter, they truck greens grown at a farm in Arizona to their packaging plant in Georgia, which means that the mouse could have crawled in at any point from the field to the point the bag was sealed.

“Especially with this type of product being grown outside, there are other avenues besides the actual facility,” the state food inspector explained to TV station WSB in Atlanta. Indeed. Growing food outside means that it’s always possible that insects and animals can wander in. The process for washing and sorting the leaves doesn’t necessarily force small rodents out of the harvest. The company’s head of food safety explained to WSB:

…a field mouse, which is about the size of a spinach leaf, may cling to the leaf and remain hidden and unshakeable throughout the various phases of processing.

Rest in peace, little mouse. Sorry that your quest for a spinach snack didn’t end well…for you, or for the people who found you inside the spinach bag. Their concern was that the mouse may have been poisoned, and that in turn contaminated the spinach.

Woman says she found mouse in pre-packaged spinach [WSB]

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