A grandfather has told of his shock at finding a live snake in a bunch of broccoli he says he purchased from an Aldi store.
Neville Linton, 63, described finding the reptile, which was later identified as a ladder snake, as a “frightening” experience.
The father-of-three said he bought the broccoli at an Aldi branch in Stourbridge in the West Midlands.
When taking it out of his fridge to prepare a meal, he found the non-venomous snake nestled in near the stem.
“It was pretty frightening. I’m not good with snakes,” Mr Linton, from Birmingham said.
“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.”
The snake was later taken to Dudley Zoo.
Following the incident, Mr Linton said he has been offered compensation, but is pushing for more.
He said the amount offered does not compensate him for the risk to his disabled son and vulnerable mother-in-law, who both live with him.
A spokesperson for Aldi told Sky News: “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.”
The ladder snake is native to south west Europe including Portugal, Spain and southern France. Although the species is not venomous, it can give a serious bite.