Virginia woman finds snake in bag of popcorn at grocery store
KENBRIDGE, Va. — A Lunenburg County woman is still in shock Friday morning after saying a trip to the local grocery store on Thursday turned into a nightmare.
Kimberly Slaughter stopped by Shoppers Value in Kenbridge to do some shopping, when she noticed what she thought was mouse poop on a bag of packed popcorn.
“I was like, I’m not getting this bag,” Slaughter explained. “So I put it on the bottom shelf because there was already mouse poop on the bottom shelves.”
Slaughter said there were also sticky rodent traps on the bottom shelf. She then went to get another bag of popcorn, but noticed that the bag had a small hole in the upper right corner.
“As soon as I went to put the bag in my cart to pick it up front, because you know, they can’t sell it. The stuff was out, and you know, I was like, oh, well, hi! “
This “thing” she refers to was a snake.
Slaughter said she immediately pushed her grocery cart with the bag of popcorn and the snake still inside to the front of the store to notify an employee of the issue.
“They’re like, that never happens here,” she explained. “But the bottom shelf has no merchandise on it because of the simple fact that mice climb on it.”
While at the front of the store, Slaughter said the snake crawled out of the bag, up the side of the shopping cart before returning to the bag of popcorn.
“It was the full length of the carriage,” exclaimed Slaughter. “There was, however, prime real estate.”
According to Slaughter, an employee removed the snake from the store, and she said — based on the photos — that friends told her it was a rat snake.
“I have a baby, and he’s just starting to walk. So imagine if he was a little older, or if my niece had walked away and said, ‘Hey, I want some popcorn’ and grabbed this bag and he bit her. . It’s not safe. It’s not healthy.”
CBS 6 contacted store manager Brian Stanley about the issue. He said the snake in question was a small black snake.
“We have no idea where this came from,” Stanley told CBS 6 reporter Caroline Coleburn over the phone. “We are investigating to try to find out where it came from, but we have no other indication that there might be others.”
When CBS 6 asked Stanley about the rodent droppings and traps Slaughter said he found on the store’s bottom shelf, Stanley told us he wasn’t aware of any mousetraps in the store. Thursday because he wasn’t there.
“We use mousetraps sporadically when we need them, but more as a preventive measure,” he explained.
CBS 6 also asked Stanley if Shoppers Value was following Virginia Department of Health protocols.
“We are required to and we follow all VDH protocols,” Stanley replied.
But Slaughter said it’s not the first time she’s been made aware of an issue at Shoppers Value, and she believes more needs to be done to protect the health and safety of customers.
“They’re just turning a blind eye,” she said. “They’re not doing anything about it. The health department has been called several times. There have been several complaints. You know, I have another friend who emailed the health department and nothing came of it.”
Slaughter said she plans to report Thursday’s incident to the Virginia Department of Health, but she doesn’t want the store to close permanently because it’s one of the only places to shop in the small town. .
“It’s like the only store we have,” she said. “I am a home nurse. Close it. Cleans. You know, the cleaning process won’t take that long if you do it right. Get enough people in, hire a company, clean it up, and reopen the doors.
CBS 6 contacted the Virginia Department of Health Piedmont District to ask if there had been any complaints about the grocery store. They said grocery stores fall under the jurisdiction of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS).
We are still awaiting more information on any possible store reports from VDACS.