« A horrified man finds a snake in a bag of broccoli he purchased at Aldi… »


On an ordinary day, Neville Linton, 63, went grocery shopping. However, he discovered a « shocking » surprise in a bunch of broccoli.

He had gone to an Aldi in the West Midlands, England, as usual. But a few days later, while cooking, he opened the bag and found a snake in the vegetables.

It’s the nightmare of any ophidiophobic person. Unfortunately, Linton had a great fear of snakes.

Linton, who works in industrial cleaning, was rescued by his relatives, who were immediately on hand and grabbed the snake. « It was pretty scary, » said a grandfather.

« I don’t handle snakes well. It’s a good thing I didn’t just leave the broccoli lying in the kitchen, otherwise it would have spread throughout the house. Since we have two sensitive people here, it would have been a significant danger for us. »

After discovering the reptile, he called his sister Ann-Marie Tenkanemin, 57, who identified it as a snake. The pair captured the lizard in a plastic container and brought it back to Aldi.

« At first, I thought she was making a joke, » Linton said of Tenkanemin’s identification of the snake, « but when I saw it move, I held back. » « The guy in the store was also very scared. »

Although he was compensated, Linton believes that the case deserved more attention because the snake posed a danger to his vulnerable relatives, including his paralyzed son and mother-in-law.

« It’s just not good enough – the impact for us if it had escaped in the house would have been enormous, » he explained. « There’s also the emotional impact of being afraid of snakes. »

« Our supplier has never received a complaint of this nature and has implemented robust processes to prevent such issues, » said an Aldi representative.

« We are reviewing this isolated incident and have apologized to Mr. Linton for not meeting our usual high standards. »

A specialist from Dudley Zoo identified the reptile as a baby ladder snake, according to Linton’s son Donovan, 41. Although they look scary and can cause a painful bite, they are not venomous.

They can be found in many European countries, including Spain, Portugal, and parts of Italy and France. Hedges, forests, vineyards, rodent burrows, hollow trees, orchards, and rocks are ideal temperate habitats for them.

Ladder snakes are typically solitary, aggressive, and defensive. They ward off enemies by snapping their sharp teeth and emitting a terrible smell. Despite their carnivorous nature, they avoid humans.

Instead, they feed on rodents like mice and rabbits, as well as birds, spiders, lizards, and insects. The lizard that intruded into the broccoli was relocated to Dudley Zoo.

However, herpetologist Dr. Steven J. R. Allain identifies it as a viperine snake, which fortunately is less deadly. « After reviewing the [actual] photo of the snake in the broccoli, I am not sure if the zoo has correctly identified the species, » noted Allain.

« In my expert opinion, the snake is a viperine snake (Natrix maura), a harmless, fish-eating species found throughout southwestern Europe and North Africa. »

He speculates on how it could have ended up in the broccoli.

« Since the Mediterranean region provides a large portion of the food grown and imported into the United Kingdom, it is not surprising to find a species from that region in some vegetables likely grown there. »

« The snake most likely traveled through the field at that time, before being caught by agricultural machinery and seeking shelter in the broccoli, in my opinion. »


Good Info