A Virginia woman was just going about her business during a visit to a local grocery store when she was shocked to discover what was a snake inside of the bag of pre-popped popcorn that she had just put into her shopping cart.
The horrifying incident went down last Thursday at a Shoppers Value location in Kenbridge, where Kimberly Slaughter had stopped off to pick up a few items and, after observing an apparent rodent infestation problem, soon found that the store’s issues extended way beyond what she believed were mouse droppings on one of the shelves.
After seeing a substance that she identified as “mouse poop” on a bag of prepackaged popcorn, she subbed it out with another bag but very quickly realized that there was an even bigger problem with the replacement bag.
“I was like, I’m not getting that bag,” Slaughter said, according to Richmond CBS affiliate WTVR. “So I put it on the bottom shelf because there was already mouse poop covering the bottom shelves.”
She also told WTVR that she saw “sticky rodent traps on the bottom shelf as well,” and that she saw a small hole in the top right corner of the popcorn bag.
“As soon as I went to put the bag in my basket to take it up front, because you know, they can’t sell it, the thing had popped out, and you know, I was like, oh, well, hi!” Slaughter said of the “thing” that turned out to be a large rat snake.
She said that she quickly pushed the grocery cart along with its slithery passenger to the front of the store where she informed an employee of the problem.
“They’re like, this doesn’t ever happen here,” she said. “But the bottom shelf has no merchandise on it because of the simple fact that mice get on it.”
Slaughter also said “the snake crawled out of the bag, down the side of the shopping cart before returning to the popcorn bag,” according to the outlet.
“It was the full length of the cart,” she said. “It had prime real estate though.”
“I have a baby, and he is just starting to walk,” Slaughter said. “So imagine if he was a little bit older, or if my niece had gone and been like, ‘Hey, I want some popcorn,’ and grabbed that bag and it bit her. It’s not safe. It’s not healthy.”
She said that a Shoppers Value removed the snake from the store and that her friends identified the reptile as a rat snake according to photos.
Users on WTVR’s Facebook page reacted to the story.
“I am disgusted about the mouse droppings and urine on the bottom shelf products, and she STILL buys a bag of popcorn? What is wrong with her?” Asked one user. “What’s not healthy is the mouse infestation at a grocery store!!”
Another user said, “Why in the world would you buy anything from the store you say had several mouse dropping and mouse traps visibly displayed??????”
“Why did she continue to shop there if she seen rodent droppings on the shelf that’s a no for me right there! And then for her to see the hole in the popcorn bag and was still willing to purchase it before the snake popped out what’s wrong wth her!! SMFH,” wrote another.
“We have no idea where it came from,” store manager Brian Stanley told a WTVR reporter over the phone, “We are investigating trying to find out where it came from, but we have no other indication that there could be any others,” he also denied having knowledge of any mouse traps at the store, saying that he wasn’t there on the day of the incident.
Slaughter told WTVR that she was aware of previous incidents at the Shoppers Value location and that something needs to be done.
“They’re just turning like a blind eye,” she said. “They’re not doing anything about it. The health department has been called numerous times. There’s been multiple complaints. You know, I have another friend who has emailed the health department and nothing has come from it.”
She said that she intends to notify the Virginia Department of Health but doesn’t want to see the location closed down because it’s one of the only places to buy groceries in the area.
“That’s like the only store we have,” Slaughter said. “I’m a home health nurse. Shut it down. Clean it. You know, the cleaning process won’t take that long if you do it properly. Get enough people in there, hire a company, clean it up and open the doors back up.”
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