Live cockroach crawls out of salad as customer takes second helping

WHEN Helen Dixon prepared to tuck into a plateful of Italian-style salad, she expected it to be crisp and crunchy – but not alive.

After shaking the salad bag on to her dinner plate, the business development executive from Polwarth was confronted with a live cockroach living among the lettuce.

The 27-year-old suspects the intruder made its way into the bag when it was being packaged and supermarket bosses have promised an investigation.

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In the meantime, however, rather than throwing the offending insect away, she has instead kept hold of it as evidence, popped it into a jar with some of the salad and named it Colin.

Ms Dixon bought the bag of salad from budget supermarket Lidl in Dalry Road, and had already eaten some of it the night before without spotting Colin.

She said: "It was quite disgusting. On Saturday I had some of the salad and put it back in the fridge and on Sunday I put some more on to the plate and it popped out. There's no way he could have got into it overnight, because the top of the bag had a clip around it. I felt like vomiting, it was disgusting. I thought it was a beetle, but I've got it at work and everyone thinks it's a cockroach.

"Because it was alive in the bag, I thought that was worse than it being dead, so I wanted to show it to Lidl."

She said that Colin had not looked at all well since emerging from the bag: "I put him in a jar, but he looks like he's going to die. I just chucked some of the salad in and one of the girls at work gave him a raisin, and he enjoyed that, but I think he's shrinking a bit. He is just about as traumatised as me."

Ms Dixon phoned Lidl to lodge a complaint about her find, and was asked to deliver Colin back to the store – dead or alive.

She said: "I phoned Lidl and they said 'Can you try and bring it in?' so I have to go back and hand him in to them."

A spokesman for Lidl said the product supplier had told the chain it used only approved growers and had very stringent cleaning and inspection processes.

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He added: "Our policy is to fully investigate the issue. The customer is fully refunded and supplied with a replacement product. Each instance would be dealt with on an individual basis.

"Our quality assurance team carry out routine tests on all our products and on no occasion has this product raised any quality issues."

..but lizard who crawled out of a bag is massive

KITCHEN staff at the National Trust for Scotland's cafe in Charlotte Square were left stunned when a live lizard emerged from a salad.

The workers were preparing snacks when the creature crawled from a bag of rocket and on to the work surface.

NTS restaurant manager David Neil contacted conservationists in the building who identified the reptile as a Lebanese Lizard.

But it is still unclear how the creature got into the salad, imported from Israel, and survived several days' travel at cold temperatures.

NTS nature conservation adviser Lindsay Mackinlay said it had been named Rocky – after the rocket leaves in which it was found.

The creature has been given a makeshift home in a CD holder in the Trust's office. Staff have placed the box on a monitor to keep Rocky warm.

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Miss Mackinlay said: "Rocky's obviously been in transit for days and would probably have been refrigerated throughout much of the journey. We suspect he survived by slowing down his metabolism and going into a state of hibernation. Thankfully he's very alert now that he has warmed up a bit."

The Trust is now working to find Rocky a permanent home.

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