Woman Finds Mouse Head In Can Of Green Beans . . .

. . . Company’s Response: “Inevitably, occasionally, these things occur.”


Inevitably, these things occur?!?


I had no idea I was risking so much by popping open a can of green beans. If I had known of the inevitability of finding mouse parts in the product, it would have seriously limited my canned green bean consumption. Certainly, I will avoid this particular brand of canned veggies in the future, since they have some serious “inevitable” quality control issues.

What a stupid, stupid thing to say. It’s the sort of thing a client says that makes his PR people and his lawyers throw things around their offices.

A friend of my sister’s found half a lizard in a can of greens. That company was similarly lackadaisical.


I can empathise - I was pretty distressed last time I found a green bean in my tin of mouse heads.

God I had a can for breakfast today. No mouse heads though.

What are the FDA’s acceptable limitations for mouse parts in canned vegetables? Because I think it might be a tad high.

I take it, then, that you aren’t planning to represent them? :wink:

It’s honest, and it’s true. Why would that cause PR people or lawyers to throw things? A PR campaign can be built around honesty and truthful representation of a product. I have likewise been under the impression that the best legal arguement is an honest and true one. So, what’s the problem?


Sorry, I could just hear the OP saying it ( “Dese tings do 'appen?” )

You can switch brands, but don’t expect to never find a stray pest in the can. Look really close at the creamed corn you buy. I’m sure you can find pieces of corn bore in it.

And don’t even think about the banana worms. It’s far, far better if you don’t.

Whoa whoa whoa! Let’s not talk all crazy!

In Soviet Russia, mouse head finds YOU.

I believe it’s one mouse head per 100,000 cans, or one mouse paw per 25,000 cans.

If you save up a million labels, you can get a whole bear.

Worse thing I ever had was half a honeybee in a box of Great Grains cereal. There it was, sitting on my spoon a split second before it would have gone in my mouth, and my first thought was like “WTF?” My second thought was wondering if I had already eaten the other half already…

Just curious. What would you have them say?

They can’t say that it won’t ever happen again because that would be lying and would cost a ton more money if it did happen again. I’m sure that it does inevitably happen despite their most stringent controls.

They’ve already apologized, so nowhere to go there. I guess they could just say: “Sorry. Bummer that happened to you.” But that just seems somehow inadequate since the woman is looking for assurances that it won’t happen again which they can’t give.

So if you were in their position, what would you say?

A mouse head once bit my sister…

Would she have flipped out if the meat in the can was hamburger? How about chicken? Maybe a shrimp? What is the threshold? Meat is meat. I don’t like mouse heads in my beans, either, but if I find one, I throw the can out and reach for another.

This page details the unavoidable allowable defects in our processed food. Look around the cite- some very interesting information. This is what is in your canned corn:

(AOAC 973.61) Insect larvae (corn ear worms, corn borers) 2 or more 3mm or longer larvae, cast skins, larval or cast skin fragments of corn ear worms or corn borer and the aggregate length of such larvae, cast skins, larval or cast skin fragments exceeds 12 mm in 24 pounds (24 No. 303 cans or equivalent)
DEFECT SOURCE: Pre-harvest insect infestation

Note that the presence of some worm parts is a problem of aesthetics. It is gross, but unavoidable, and can’t hurt you.
The food in the grocery store is a convenience that most of us take for granted, but expecting perfection is ridiculous. You want it cheap? You want it easily accessible? Want it in large quantities? Then you are going to eat a few bugs, a few rodent droppings, some mold, etc.
I think there is a lesson to learn here- if you think that large scale growing, harvesting, and processing is a pristine process, then you might want to grow your own food. Barring that, count your blessings that food is so plentiful here in the US and eat what is on your plate.

A while back, I was grossed out when I found a dead fruit fly in a box of store-brand raisin bran. Put me off raisin bran for a while, but I’ve bought another box and will give it another try.

I dated a woman several years back. She had been divorced several years prior to that. She had three kids and limited job skills, so she took the best paying job she could find, in a canning company. Her first assignment was to stand by a conveyor belt, transfering the veggies from a wash to the cans, and pick out any foreign objects. On her very first day she came across a mouse head, so it’s apparently pretty common. She later, prior to our meeting, managed to elevate herself to a supervisory position w/ Techtronix in Portland, but she loved to tell her “mousehead” story.