Imagine you're chowing down on a salad — a healthy salad you threw together quickly with an organic spring mix — when something in the bowl catches you eye. It's a frog, and you were "this close" to stabbing it with your fork. What would you do?
It happened to Becky Garfinkel of California, and she took to Facebook to let Target know, since that's where she bought the Taylor Farms Organic Spring Mix.
Target... this is the most disgusting thing I have seen. Yes that's a frog, a live frog from my spring mix I got from your store today. I discovered him after eating almost my entire salad and almost stabbed him. The worst for me is that I'm a very strict vegetarian due to meat allergies.
The frog was alive, so Garfinkel decided to keep the little guy as a pet and name him Lucky. It's a happy ending for Lucky, but what's the rest of the story?
Several questions remain. How did Lucky get into the salad that was packaged in a blister pack? Is Target responsible or is the packaging company responsible? And, does Garfinkel need more than an apology?
Frogs in salad mix; it happens
There's no way to know exactly how Lucky made his way into the salad, but it's not unheard of. In fact, Lucky was luckier than a frog found in a salad bought at a New York Pret A Manger in 2013.
A spokesperson for Pret A Manger gave a statement to Huffington Post about the incident and acknowledged that because no pesticides are used on its produce, sometimes frogs happen.
At Pret A Manger, we take issues like this very seriously. Our lettuce is sourced from farms that do not use any pesticides on its produce, therefore organic matter does very rarely manage to pass through our production process. We are currently looking into this issue to make every effort that this does not happen again.
This could be the case with the Taylor Farms Organic Spring Mix. When biodiversity is encouraged on a farm, frogs and other critters roam freely. Some of them — particularly if they are small — can get caught up in the harvest. A frog's color makes it more difficult to pick out during quality control.
In 2012, salad mix bought at Costco also came with a frog; this one was alive and climbing around inside the packaging. (All I wanted while watching this video was for the guy filming to open the package up and let the little guy go free!)
Who is responsible?
Garfinkel's Facebook post is public, which means the public has already weighed in. Some people made jokes about the frog being organic. One person suggested that Garfinkel had put the frog in the salad herself. Some thought she was wrong to contact Target and that she should only contact Taylor Farms, including one commenter who said, "Target has no control over what is in a bagged salad — unless you expect a Target employee to open every bag of salad that comes into the store, inspect it for frogs, and then re-bag it for you..."
This brings up an interesting question. Is Target at all responsible for the frog in the salad mix? There was no way for the store to know the frog was in there. Target did apologize publicly on Facebook and according to Garfinkel, offered her a $5 gift certificate, which she found insufficient because it didn't even cover the price of the salad.
It seems to me that the responsibility lies with Taylor Farms to ensure no frogs get into their products, but as we've seen sometimes, it's unavoidable. Frogs happen. (According to an "Inside Edition" report, Garfinkel said the salad company also apologized to her.)
Honestly, it seems like the frog got in there by accident, and there was no harm done to either Garfinkel or the frog. An apology seems sufficient, but a company could also offer a gift certificate or a free product as part of the apology.
I'd be fine with an apology? What about you?