Wal-Mart, is that a frog in my green beans?

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Chasity Erbaugh was about to serve lunch to a table full of kids in her Tyler, Texas, home when she got the surprise of a lifetime in the bag of frozen green beans she had just microwaved. As she was stirring the green beans in a bowl she saw an indistinguishable lump.

"I actually couldn't tell what it was," she told WalletPop. "I thought maybe one of them was starting to sprout or it was a mushroom or something."

Then a friend who was with her looked at it. "She said 'Chastity, it has eyes. It's a frog.' I just backed up to the counter. She said my face just turned white."




Erbaugh said she felt faint from the shock of finding an almost totally intact frog. It was just missing its legs.

After getting over the initial surprise, she said she got mad -- mad at Wal-Mart, where she bought the retailer's Great Value brand microwave in the bag green beans. She said no one called her even days after she reported the problem and calls to the corporate customer help line left her scratching her head. After the last call, Erbaugh said Wal-Mart said it would make up the whole episode by offering a coupon worth the value of the green beans that could only be redeemed for another Great Value product. Total value: $1.

Erbaugh also talked with the producer of the Wal-Mart vegetables, Pictsweet. She said they were apologetic and asked what they could do to make it up to her. She said they later told her Wal-Mart would be handling the situation. An email to Pictsweet officials was not immediately answered.

UPDATE: Two days later, Pictsweet responded by offering me vegetable coupons. The entire email they sent is at the bottom of the story.

Erbaugh also was upset that her complaint did not spur Wal-Mart to remove the green beans from the store. Instead, that happened five days later after local TV station KLTV cotnacted the local health department.

Wal-Mart did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Erbaugh said she's done with frozen vegetables and shopping at Wal-Mart for now -- even though it is a closer and cheaper option than the other grocery stores in the area. She said she'll drive right past the Wal-Mart to do her shopping until the mammoth company makes her feel like a valued customer after years of spending some $400 per grocery shopping trip there.

"I'm not going back – not anytime soon," she said.

Email from Pictsweet, dated July 24:

Thank you for taking the time to inquire about the recent complaint concerning Great Value Cut Green Beans.

Pictsweet is the supplier of this product to Wal-Mart and we have been very much involved with this consumer and with Wal-Mart in trying to determine how this incident could have occurred. Pictsweet is one of the premier suppliers of frozen vegetables in the United States and we are proud of our record of having the finest quality products available for our consumers.

This incident has required us to re-examine every step of our production to assure the continuance of this quality. I would like to send you some coupons to use on your next visit to the grocery store. I am sure that you will find the same great products that you have enjoyed in the past.

Sincerely,
Cathy Hay
Consumer Affairs
The Pictsweet Company

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