People open millions of cans every day without any problems, but for one Negaunee, Michigan woman, she got the surprise of her life when she started to make dinner with a can of tomato paste.
Stacy DuBord found what she thought to be an animal brain in a can of Walmart's Great Value tomato paste when she was making chili Wednesday night.
"When I first opened the can, nothing looked awry whatsoever, and then I looked in the pot and there was something white, chunky, squirrely in there. I really wasn't sure what it was, so I scooped it out really fast," said Dubord.
The mother of one, who is also expecting, first thought it was the brains of some kind of small animal that made it into her tomato paste. But what Stacy wants to know is how did it get in her tomato paste, and what exactly did she almost feed to her daughter and unborn child.
She contacted the Food and Drug Administration and when she couldn't get through, she got a hold of the Marquette County Health Department. After inspecting the mysterious object, the county health department is still stumped, but they have a guess.
They said since the can was dented when Stacy bought it, it's likely that the nasty find is bacteria or fungus that developed after the manufacturing process.
"The teachable moment here is that stockers, buyers, people, public shouldn't buy cans, vacuum-sealed cans that have dents in them. If you see them, bring them back to where you purchased them, or bring them to the food manager's attention," said health officer Fred Benzie.
But what would have happened if Stacy and her family ate the object they found?
"Well, it's possible a variety of things could happen. Botulism is one of the most toxic substances to man. It's very lethal. There's potential that it could have been a poisonous consumption," DuBord said.
Stacy has since filed a complaint with the Michigan Department of Agriculture.
We contacted Walmart for a comment, and they said they would issue a statement. We have not yet heard back from them.
"Whether it is something with manufacturing or because the can was dented, I'm not going to be able to per se stomach buying that brand again and a tomato product for a while, probably," DuBord added.
A Walmart spokesperson issued a statement to us Friday:â??This is obviously not the type of experience any customer deserves. We can certainly understand her reaction and we truly apologize for the situation. As soon as we were made aware of the issue, we reached out to our supplier to determine what may have happened. Our supplier has reached out to the customer in an effort to make right on the situation as well as obtain the product so it can be sent to a laboratory for testing.â??