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03rd Jul 2023

Grandad finds snake in his Aldi broccoli


When he returned it to Aldi ‘the guy in the shop was pretty frightened too’

A grandad was given a scare when he opened a bag of Aldi broccoli – and found a live snake inside.

Neville Linton said discovering the young ladder snake – which is capable of a nasty bite – was a “frightening” experience.

The 63-year-old bought the broccoli from an Aldi branch in Stourbridge, West Midlands, on June 2.

He put it in the fridge before taking it out to prepare a meal three days later – when he spotted the snake.

Neville, who works in industrial cleaning, is scared of snakes so relatives jumped to his aid and removed the reptile.

It was later taken to nearby Dudley Zoo where it was identified as a ladder snake.

The species is from south western Europe and, although not venomous, can give humans a nasty nip.

Neville, a grandad-of-one from Birmingham, said: “It was pretty frightening.

“I’m not good with snakes. It’s lucky I didn’t just leave the broccoli out in the kitchen, or it would have been loose in the house.

“That would have been a huge risk for us because we have two vulnerable people living here.”

Neville bought the broccoli as part of his regular weekly shop but didn’t notice the slippery extra tucked up near the stem when he unwrapped the veg on his kitchen counter.

Quickly realising it was too big to be a caterpillar, he called for his sister Ann-Marie Tenkanemin, 57, who identified it as a snake.

The pair popped it in a tub and drove it back to the Aldi store in Dudley Road where Neville had purchased it.

He said: “I thought she was joking at first, but I backed off when I saw it start moving.

“The guy in the shop was pretty frightened too.”

The snake was taken to Dudley Zoo where it was identified as a young ladder snake by a specialist, said Neville’s 41-year-old son Donovan.

Neville has been offered compensation, but is pushing for more.

The dad-of-three says the amount offered does not compensate him for the risk to his disabled son and vulnerable mother-in-law, who live with him.

He added: “It’s just not good enough – the implications for us if it had got out in the house are huge.

“Plus, I’m phobic of snakes so there’s the emotional impact of that too.”

An Aldi spokesperson said: “Our supplier has never had a complaint of this nature and has robust processes in place to prevent such issues occurring.

“We are investigating this isolated incident and have apologised to Mr Linton that our usual high standards were not met.”

Ladder snakes are mostly found in Portugal, Spain, southern France and parts of Italy.

They can become aggressive when threatened and are capable of letting off a foul odour.

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