Heineken Drinker Claims He Became Violently Ill After Finding 2 Geckos In His Beer

Image courtesy of Jeremy Brooks

There’s nothing quite like sitting back and enjoying a cool beverage. But according to a new lawsuit, one man’s beer-drinking experience was anything but relaxing after he claims he found two geckos submerged in his can of Heineken.

According to a lawsuit [PDF] filed last week in California that names both Heineken and grocery chain Kroger as defendants, the plaintiff says he’d purchased 24-ounce cans of Heineken from a Ralph’s store — owned by Kroger — in Fountain Valley, CA, back in Aug. 2015.

A “foul taste”

When he went to drink one of those beers, he claims he “noted that the beer had a foul taste,” and experienced “severe abdominal pain followed by vomiting.”

His daughter examined the can he’d been drinking out of, and allegedly discovered two lizards, which the lawsuit says have been identified as juvenile leopard geckos. Though the lawsuit notes that type of lizard is not indigenous to the U.S., it’s worth noting that they are available as pets, depending on where you live.

The plaintiff believes that the geckos got into the can at a Heineken canning facility, before the beer was poured in.

“When discovered, the geckos had not been decomposed at all and were likely alive when the beer was poured and sealed into the cans in the bottling and/or canning facility,” the lawsuit claims.

After drinking the allegedly gecko-filled beer and becoming “violently ill,” the man went to the emergency room. He was discharged with prescriptions for Xanax and Zofran and was told to return if his symptoms didn’t improve.

He claims things didn’t get better, and he went to urgent care two days later with “severe stomach pains and cramps, loss of sensation, hyperactive bowel movements, and nearly complete loss of appetite.” He continues to “experience severe gastrointestinal ailments, emotional distress, trauma, and anxiety” as a result of finding the two geckos in his Heineken beer, the lawsuit states.

He’s seeking damages on claims of strict product liability, negligence, breach of implied warranty of merchantability, and negligent infliction of emotional distress.

Heineken says the accusation is false.

“Heineken USA holds the safety and integrity of the products we import to the highest standards,” a spokeswoman for the company told Consumerist. “We are currently investigating this isolated claim and based on a number of factors we confidently believe there is no merit to this claim.”

We’ve reached out to Kroger for comment as well and will update this post if we hear back.

Free frogs

This is far from the first time we’ve heard of folks who claim to have found animals in their food or beverages. In just the past few years or so, there have been many reports of frogs, rats, lizards, and other critters allegedly surprising people.

• After a South Dakota man claimed he drank from a can of Coca-Cola that had a mouse sealed inside, Coke claimed it couldn’t be possible, as any mouse entombed in a can of soda would have been more decomposed than what he says he found.

• Shoppers in Maryland claimed they found a live scorpion in their bag of spinach.

• NYC health officials investigated a report of a fried rat head served at Popeyes in 2016.

• Canned green beans were recalled that same year after a church group discovered a snake head in their food.

• A family found a free lizard inside a bundle of salad greens — and then brought it to live at their kid’s school.

• Across the pond, someone found a dead baby weasel in her salad. She was not pleased.

• A pasta lover in Minnesota claimed she found a mummified frog in her box of Barilla pasta

• A frog allegedly showed up yet again, in England, where a girl claimed McDonald’s served her a McFrog wrap.

• A Subway customer once claimed to have received a free dead rat with his spinach-filled sandwich.

• Yet another frog was allegedly discovered in a package of spinach, this time, from Sam’s Club.

• A Target shopper found a black widow spider in a package of grapes.

Toxic beetles showed up in shoppers’ salads from Canada to Texas back in 2015.

• Yet another bag of fresh spinach contained a free animal surprise — in this case back in 2015, it was a dead mouse.

• A McDonald’s customer claimed in 2014 that he’d received a mouse in his coffee.

• A woman eating Kellogg’s crunchy nut cereal claimed there was an added crunch in her food by way of a dead rodent in 2014.

We could go on, but it’s getting close to lunchtime and we don’t want to totally ruin that for anyone reading (if we haven’t already).

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