Aldi says sorry as grandad left ‘frightened’ after finding snake in broccoli bag
A grandad was given a scare when he opened a bag of broccoli - and found a live snake inside. Neville Linton, 63, was left frightened after discovering the young ladder snake - which is capable of a nasty bite.
He bought the broccoli from an Aldi branch in Stourbridge, West Midlands, on June 2. He put it in the fridge before taking it out to prepare a meal three days later - when he spotted the snake.
Neville, who works in industrial cleaning, is scared of snakes so relatives jumped to his aid and scooped the reptile up. It was later taken to nearby Dudley Zoo where it was identified as a ladder snake.
The grandad-of-one from Birmingham, said: "It was pretty frightening. I’m not good with snakes. It’s lucky I didn’t just leave the broccoli out in the kitchen, or it would have been loose in the house. That would have been a huge risk for us because we have two vulnerable people living here."
Neville bought the broccoli as part of his regular weekly shop. He saw a little creature tucked up near the stem when he unwrapped the veg on his kitchen counter.
Quickly realising it was too big to be a caterpillar, he called for his sister Ann-Marie Tenkanemin, 57, who identified it as a snake. The pair popped it in a tub and drove it back to the Aldi store in Dudley Road where Neville had bought the veg.
He said: "I thought she was joking at first, but I backed off when I saw it start moving. The guy in the shop was pretty frightened too."
Neville has been offered compensation, but is pushing for more. The dad-of-three says the amount offered does not compensate him for the risk to his disabled son and vulnerable mother-in-law, who live with him.
He added: "It’s just not good enough - the implications for us if it had got out in the house are huge. Plus, I’m phobic of snakes so there’s the emotional impact of that too."
An Aldi spokesperson said: “Our supplier has never had a complaint of this nature and has robust processes in place to prevent such issues occurring. We are investigating this isolated incident and have apologised to Mr Linton that our usual high standards were not met."
What is a ladder snake?
Ladder snakes are a species from south western Europe and, although not venomous, can give humans a nasty nip. They are mostly found in Portugal, Spain, southern France and parts of Italy. They can become aggressive when threatened and are capable of letting off a foul odour.