A Virginia woman finds a snake inside a bag of popcorn in a grocery store

KENBRIDGE, Virginia – A Lunenburg County woman was still in shock Friday morning after she said a trip to a local grocery store Thursday turned into a nightmare.

Kimberly Slaughter dropped the value of Kenbridge shoppers for some groceries, when she noticed what she thought was mouse poop on an envelope bag of popcorn.

“I was like, I didn’t get that bag,” Slaughter explained. “So I put it on the bottom shelf because there was a mouse tube covering the bottom shelves.”

Slaughter said there are sticky rodent traps on the bottom shelf, too. Then she went to get another bag of popcorn, but she noticed that the bag had a small hole in the top right corner.

“Once I went to put the bag in my basket to take it up front, because you know, they can’t sell it. The thing showed up, and you know, I was like, Oh, well, hey!”

That “thing” you were referring to was a snake.

Submitted to WTVR

A woman finds a snake in a bag of potato chips in a grocery store. July 29, 2022.

Slaughter said she immediately pushed her grocery cart with a bag of popcorn and the snake inside to the front of the store to notify the employee of the problem.

“They’re like, ‘This doesn’t happen here at all,'” she explained. “But the bottom shelf doesn’t have any merchandise due to the fact that mice get it.”

While she was at the front of the store, Slaughter said the snake crawled out of the bag, down the side of the shopping cart before returning to the bag of popcorn.

“It was the entire length of the wagon,” snorted Slaughter. “He had excellent real estate though.”

According to Slaughter, an employee removed the snake from the store, and she said — based on the photos — her friends told her it was a rat snake.

“I have a baby, and he’s just starting to walk. So imagine if he was a little bit older, or if my niece went and was like, ‘Hey, I want some popcorn’ and grab this bag and bite it. It’s not safe. It’s not healthy.”

snake in kenbridge chips 4.jpg

Submitted to WTVR

Kimberly Slaughter and her baby. 29 July 2022

CBS 6 has reached out to store manager, Brian Stanley, regarding this issue. He said that the snake in question was a small black snake.

“We have no idea where it came from,” Stanley told CBS6 reporter Carolyn Colliberne by phone. “We are investigating to try to find out where it came from, but we have no further indication that there might be any other indications.”

When CBS 6 asked Stanley about the rodent droppings and traps that Slaughter said she found on the store’s lower shelf, Stanley told us he wasn’t aware of any mousetraps in the store Thursday because he wasn’t there.

“We use mousetraps intermittently when we need them, but we use more than that for prevention,” he explained.

CBS 6 also asked Stanley if value shoppers are following Virginia Department of Health protocols.

“We’re required to, and we follow all VDH protocols,” Stanley replied.

But Slaughter said this isn’t the first time she’s learned of a problem at Shoppers Value, and she believes more needs to be done to protect customers’ health and safety.

“They just turn around,” she said. “They don’t do anything about it. The Ministry of Health has been contacted several times. There have been multiple complaints. You know, I have another friend who emailed the Ministry of Health and nothing came of it.”

snake in kenbridge chips 8.jpg

Submitted to WTVR

A woman finds a snake in a bag of chips in a grocery store. July 29, 2022.

Slaughter said she plans to report the incident to the Virginia Department of Health Thursday, but she doesn’t want to permanently close the store because it’s one of the only places to buy groceries in the small town.

“This is like the only store we have,” she said. “I’m a home health nurse. Turn it off. Clean it up. You know, the cleaning process won’t take long if you do it right. Get enough people in there, hire a business, clean it up and open the doors back up.”

CBS 6 reached out to the Piedmont-area Virginia Department of Health to ask if there were complaints about the grocery store. They said a grocery store is under the jurisdiction of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDAX).

We’re still waiting for more information on potential on-store reports from VDACS.

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