Prepackaged salads aren’t really healthy. They are packed along with a mixture of gasses known as modified atmosphere to look vivid fresh and many contain very little nutrition due to the intense processing.

More horrifying. Sometimes pre-packed salads contain extra ingredients like living frogs, lizards, rodents and even a bat. You said disgusting? In 10 instances, the animals were still alive.

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Living frog found in a prepackaged salad. Picture: Daily Echo/Solent News/Shutterstock

These strange animal discoveries have been compiled in a new scientific study. From 2003 to now, the scientists gathered more than 40 examples of animals found in pre-bagged salads in 20 US states. And from these 40 cases, 38 of these encounters took place during the past decade.

Are we doing something wrong?

Only incidents covered by news outlets were taken into account in order to have precise data on where, when, what, who, etc… For the dead animals, the scientists recorded whether the animal was whole or partial.

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Map of animals found in pre-packed salads in the USA. Map via Paper by D. Hughes/M. Green/J. Warner/P. Davidson

Of the animals found in salad (3x times more common in bags of conventional vegetables than in organic greens):

  • 53% were frogs and toads
  • 23% were reptiles
  • 18% were mammals (rodents, and even a bat found in Florida in 2017)
  • 6% were birds
  • They also found lots of invertabrates (but not focus of the study)

Rodents and bats received significantly more media attention than other animals, likely because they are known vectors for many diseases that affect people.

Here some videos:

a lizard:

a mouse:

a rat:

A bird:

a frog:

a giant spider:

But I mean, if this study has only taken into account the incidents reported in the news, it is very probable that wildlife ends up more frequently in pre-washed salads than then research suggests.

It remains unclear whether these occurrences indicate a food-safety crisis or a complaint against food quality. I would say those results represent another evidence that we should stop eating pre-packaged salads.

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1 COMMENT

  1. well..I’ve been wanting to move away from packaged salads…bought a mezzaluna chopper. I think this article might put me over the edge…

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