• Woman says she found mouse in pre-packaged spinach

    By: Jim Strickland


    CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. - The Department of Agriculture completed a snap inspection at a local food plant after a Woodstock woman says she found a dead mouse inside a bad of pre-packaged spinach.

    Inspectors showed up at the plant off I-75 in Clayton County looking for evidence of vermin.

    Sarah Bacon says she was disgusted when she found the mouse inside the bag. She told Channel 2 consumer investigator Jim Strickland that she and her husband had already consumed most of the contents.

    "It's pretty gross. I don't know if it was diseased, if it was killed by rat or mouse poison.  I don't really know what I ate,” Bacon said.

    "We definitely want to get out there to see if something needs to be done right away," said State Food Safety Director Natalie Adan.

    Adan said an inspector found no evidence of rodent activity at the Fresh Express bagging facility in Morrow.  Fresh Express, a division of Chiquita, Inc., grows spinach this time of year in Arizona, but trucks it to Georgia and other locations for packaging.

    Six violations found in an inspection just two weeks earlier at the Morrow facility had been corrected, Adan said.

    "Especially with this type of product being grown outside, there are other avenues besides the actual facility," said Adan.

    Records show the spinach leaves are inspected, washed, shaken, dried and inspected again. 

    The company's own food safety chief, Courtney Parker told Strickland in a statement that, in rare occasions, “a field mouse, which is about the size of a spinach leaf, may cling to the leaf and remain hidden and unshakeable throughout the various phases of processing."

    "I thought it was ready to eat.  Clearly not the case," Bacon said.

    Fresh Express has apologized.

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