Man says he found large insect in spinach

By Courtney Lane - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email | Twitter

LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - A Longview man says his canned spinach was just a little too crunchy. After further inspection, he says he found a large insect in his Great Value brand of whole leaf spinach.

In fact, in the past year and a half, KLTV 7 has covered four incidents now where East Texans have found foreign objects in their Great Value brand of food.

Gregg Brown says his wife cooked this canned spinach Monday night and did not detect anything out of the ordinary.

"I felt something in my mouth and I didn't know what to think," said Brown.

He says he pulled it out to discover this sickening surprise.

"To me it looks like it could be a grasshopper or a locust," said Brown.

A large insect, he says, was blended in to their greens.

"It was all wrapped up in the spinach when I took a bite and it was just crunchy and I was like, 'Something's not right about this,' and I took it out and I looked at it and I seen legs and wings on it and I was like, 'Oh my God,'" said Brown.

The insect is not the first unwanted object in Great Value brand foods, we have covered. Last February, a Kilgore woman found what looked like a piece of plastic in her frozen chicken. Last July, a Tyler woman found half of a toad in her frozen green beans. In December of 2009, a White Oak man found what looked like a rodent's jaw bone in his frozen mixed veggies.

"It is peculiar in the fact that great value seems to pop up more often but at the same time it's got to go back to the factory, to the cannery where it was made," said Sanitarian Brenda Elrod.

She says each case is different because of various companies Great Value gets them from just like other brands.

"I know that when they process foods they grade them," said Elrod. "So like the cream of the crop goes to this brand and they're all canned by the same canning mechanisms."

She assures that companies wash veggies thoroughly before canning them.

"Then of course they superheat them to get rid of the bacteria so it should be safe but there shouldn't be pieces of insects to the point that you can tell what they are," Elrod.

She says they will track this case and report it up to the FDA. But, as for Gregg.

"I'll probably never eat spinach again," said Brown.

Gregg says the can was purchased from the Wal-Mart on Gilmer Road in Longview. He says the store did offer him a refund and said they would be happy to test it themselves, but he is holding on to the evidence, reporting it to the state health department.

Now, we did request a response from Wal-Mart Tuesday morning but have not heard back.

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