A snake head was found inside a can of green beans in Farmington, Utah, last week. The gruesome discovery was made by members of a church group while preparing meals for their congregation. Although Western Family halted distribution of their canned green beans, they have not issued a recall at this time.
Troy Walker, who is a leader for the Farmington LDS Church Young Women’s group, said she purchased approximately 30 cans of green beans from Harmons grocery store for a weekly church dinner. Unfortunately, one of the cans contained a “foreign material.”
— CNN (@CNN) February 20, 2016
As reported by KSL, Walker thought the object was a “burnt bean.” However, upon closer inspection, she realized there was a snake head in the green beans.
“… as I got closer to lift it off the spoon, I saw eyes. … That’s when I just dropped it and screamed.”
Troy said she took a photo of the snake head before returning it, and the beans, to Harmon’s grocery store. Although she received a full refund, she is concerned the rest of the snake was distributed in other cans of Western Family green beans.
In addition to reporting the incident to the local grocer, Walker contacted Western Family and sent them a photo of the snake head. Western Family chief financial officer Pete Craven confirmed he received the complaint, and the issue is under investigation.
“At this point, the product is on hold at the wholesale level. As soon as we know something like this, we stop all shipments until we know what’s going on. Foreign matter is not something we take lightly… we will immediately research and do any level of correction as we can.”
When the specific lot is identified, the company will issue a recall to retailers and consumers who may have already purchased the product.
Western Family vice president of quality control Sharon McFadden said the company will also review their procedures to prevent similar incidents in the future.
“They will go through their processes and try to determine if there was a failure of process control… Then they will have to work through that, determine what needs to be changed, and then implement those changes.”
Founded in the 1930s, Western Family started as a group of grocery wholesalers. Over the last 80 years, the company has become “a full-service private label buying and marketing company.”
According to the company website, Western Family currently distributes “more than 3,660 products” under their label, including boxed, canned, and frozen food, pet foods and supplies, and household products.
Although the website has a “consumer alerts” section, which includes recalls of products deemed to be “potentially unsafe, hazardous or defective,” the canned green beans are not listed at this time.
Troy Walker said the teens she was working with thought the incident was “kind of cool and fun.”
Although she agreed it is a “fun little story,” Walker said she will not be buying, or eating, green beans anytime soon. In fact, finding the snake head in the green beans made her lose her appetite and reconsider her plans for a family dinner party, which she is expected to host. To ease her guests’ minds, Walker said she assured them that she is “not going to serve green beans.”
Finding a snake head, or any other animal parts, in a can of vegetables is terribly disturbing. However, as reported by the New York Daily News, it is not entirely uncommon.
In 2013, Gloria Chubb found a tiny frog in a can of Meijer brand green beans. Although the incident was upsetting for the Indiana resident, St. Joseph County Health Department food service director Rita Hooten confirmed it was likely accidental.
— Spikes and Hooks (@SpikesandHooks) April 29, 2013
Troy Walker said she was startled after finding a snake head in the green beans. However, she is specifically concerned about the whereabouts of the rest of the snake.
[Image via CraigBurrow/Shutterstock]