Aldi says sorry after grandad finds live snake in his broccoli


A snake was found in Aldi brocolli

A grandad was given a sss-scare when found a live snake in his Aldi broccoli (Image: SWNS)

Aldi has apologised after a grandad said he found a live snake nestled in a head of broccoli.  

Neville Linton, 63, said discovering the young ladder snake - which is capable of a nasty bite - was a "frightening" experience. He bought the broccoli from an Aldi branch in Stourbridge, West Mids, on June 2.

Neville put the cruciferous vegetable in his fridge. When he fished it out to prepare a meal three days later he spotted the snake.

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Neville and Donovan Linton

Neville and Donovan Linton (Image: SWNS)

Relatives had to jump to his aid and retrieve the reptile, because Neville - who works in industrial cleaning - is scared of snakes.   It was later taken to nearby Dudley Zoo, where it was identified as a ladder snake.

 The species is from southwestern Europe and, although not venomous, can give humans a nasty nip. Neville, a grandad-of-one from Birmingham, said: "It was pretty frightening. I'm not good with snakes.

"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."

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Neville bought the broccoli as part of his regular weekly shop  He saw a little creature tucked up near the stem when he unwrapped the veg on his kitchen counter.

Quickly realising it was too big to be a caterpillar, he called for his sister Ann-Marie Tenkanemin, 57, who identified it as a snake.  The pair popped it in a tub and drove it back to the Aldi store in Dudley Road where Neville had bought the veg.

He said: "I thought she was joking at first, but I backed off when I saw it start moving. The guy in the shop was pretty frightened too."

The snake was taken to Dudley Zoo where it was identified as a young ladder snake by a specialist, said Neville's 41-year-old son Donovan.

Neville has been offered compensation, but is pushing for more. The dad-of-three says the amount offered does not compensate him for the risk to his disabled son and vulnerable mother-in-law, who live with him.

He added: "It's just not good enough - the implications for us if it had got out in the house are huge. Plus, I'm phobic of snakes so there's the emotional impact of that too."

An Aldi spokesperson said: “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."

Ladder snakes are mostly found in Portugal, Spain, southern France and parts of Italy.  They can become aggressive when threatened and are capable of letting off a foul odour.