Let us never eat salad again.
A man in Sydney, Australia had a brush with disaster over his healthy produce purchase —when a venomous snake slithered right out of his lettuce.
At first, he thought the critter was just a worm. But then he realized he was dealing with something far worse.
“I kind of completely freaked out when I saw this little tongue come out of its mouth and start flicking around and realized it was a snake because worms don’t have tongues,” White told the Associated Press on Thursday.
White said he “panicked,” especially once he realized just how dangerous the encounter could have been: The snake ended up being a venomous pale-headed snake.
Though not deadly, the species’ “envenomation can produce some unpleasant symptoms, including severe headache, blurred vision, localized pain, and abnormal bleeding,” according to the Australian Museum.
The snake apparently traveled 540 miles from a packing plant in the Australian city of Toowoomba to the Aldi supermarket where White was shopping — and where temperatures were probably cold enough to keep the snake in position between two heads of Cos lettuce wrapped in plastic.
When White arrived home, he and his partner immediately saw the reptile, as well as a hole in the packaging that would allow the snake to escape into their home.
He called a rescue organization right away, which picked up the serpent that evening.
ALDI is currently looking into the matter.
“We’ve worked with the customer and the team at WIRES [the rescue organization] to identify the snake’s natural habitat, which is certainly not an ALDI store!” the German-based supermarket chain said in a statement to the AP.
The encounter certainly isn’t helping with Australia’s reputation as an outback crawling with dangerous predators, said White’s partner Amelia Neate.
“For the last 10 years or so, I’ve told my family at home that Australia’s a really safe country,” Neate said. “I’ve always said I’m just in the city; it’s totally fine here.”
But for what it’s worth, a package of lettuce isn’t even the worst place a dangerous snake could appear.