Vegetarian Keeps the Frog in Her Salad as a Pet

Becky Garfinkel of Corona, Calif., was eating a packaged salad mix she’d bought at Target when she noticed something in it that definitely wasn’t lettuce.

“As I’m pulling to go stab another bite, I see a frog sitting in my salad plate after I’ve eaten almost the entire salad,” she told ABC7. She screamed and “threw up afterward because I was traumatized. I’m a vegetarian and I couldn’t believe there was a frog in there.”

Garfinkel’s husband rinsed the vinaigrette off the tiny, dime-sized frog, which was stiff and barely moving. Worried that the little guy might be dying, her husband performed “CPR” by pressing his fingertip on the frog’s chest. It worked. The frog took a breath and started moving again.

“I’m like, ‘Okay. We have to keep him,’” Garfinkel said. She named the frog Lucky, and he now lives in a terrarium that was previously home to the couple’s lizard.

“We’re such animal people,” she told Inside Edition. “We got him the moss he needed. He has a full set up. He’s eating. He’s climbing. It doesn’t seem like he went through something so shocking.”

Garfinkel is relieved she didn’t eat Lucky (frogs carry salmonella and other diseases that can make people sick, warns the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). She said she will probably never eat another salad again.

Target and Taylor Farms, the company that made the salad mix, are looking into the matter.

Garfinkel isn’t the only salad eater who’s discovered a live frog amidst the greens.

Six years ago, another woman from Southern California found a live tree frog in a packaged organic salad she’d bought at a Costco in Alhambra.

“I saw two little eyes looking at me,” Liya Ma said at the time. “I screamed and I dropped it.”

Like Garfinkel, Ma kept the little frog as a pet, naming it Dave.

Back in 2008, Yvonne Brechbuhler of Brooklyn thought the critter in the organic lettuce she bought was a slug, but she was relieved when she realized it was a small frog.

She and her family were going to keep the frog, who they named Curious, as a pet, but decided he might need better care. They took Curious to a local animal facility that specializes in reptiles and amphibians. “It was very sad to see him go,” Brechbuhler said.

Lucky, Dave and Curious all probably managed to survive because no pesticides were used on the lettuce. However, at Babe Farms, which made the salad sold at Costco, the lettuce is washed three times and then goes through a centrifuge to dry it. A spokeswoman said it was “sensational” that Dave made it through this process alive.

“If you consider that he’s been under refrigeration … you go, `Holy cow, he’s one tough frog,”‘ Craig Wilson, vice president of food safety for Costco, said at the time.

The takeaway from these amazing frog survival tales? It’s a very good idea to carefully inspect organic lettuce before digging in. Who knows, you might not only get yourself a meal, but a new pet as well.

Photo credit: Pipsimv

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