Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret Morning News
Marianne Watson looks at frozen green beans and mouse head that she is preserving for analysis.

LEHI — "Severed rodent head" was not on Marianne Watson's lunch menu Sunday.

But that's exactly what she thinks tumbled into her pot when she dumped out the contents of a can of green beans.

"I didn't know what to do," she said. "I panicked. I was in total shock."

The can of green beans was one of four the Lehi resident purchased from an American Fork Wal-Mart on Friday. She said she opened two cans of beans, drained them, rinsed them and put them on the stove before she noticed something "awfully strange" nestled among the vegetables. She described the 1-inch remnant as "furry" and "toothy."

"I was thankful I had a little soup earlier because I couldn't eat after seeing that," she said.

Watson, 49, said she was hovering above the toilet, ready to flush the offensive beans, when the horrifying thought came to her: "Where's the rest of this mouse?"

Initial calls to Wal-Mart were unproductive, she said. When she marched back into the store Monday afternoon to get some answers, there weren't any other cans from the same batch on the shelf. She feared they were already sold.

Wal-Mart spokeswoman Jami Arms said the company, in collaboration with the supplier, Allen Canning, is investigating the situation.

"Our store has inspected similar product on our shelves and feel confident that this complaint is an isolated incident," she said.

Representatives from Allen Canning did not return calls Wednesday, but Watson said she has been in contact with the Arkansas-based company.

Allen Canning offered Watson $100 "good will money" if she agreed to sign documents releasing them from any liability in the situation, she said. Watson, who never intended to sue, said the offer offended her.

"All I want is for them to do the right thing," she said.

"Covering their tails is not doing the right thing. Informing consumers and taking the product off the shelf, that's the right thing."

The company also sent Watson the postage to mail the green beans, which she has been keeping in the freezer, to its laboratory.

Watson, however, said she did not feel Allen Canning could conduct an unbiased analysis of the beans. She does not plan to mail the beans and intends to contact an independent laboratory. She still plans to shop at Wal-Mart but may not purchase green beans from the store.

"I doubt I can eat that brand of green beans again with any peace of mind or ease of stomach," she said. "I get grossed out just thinking about it."


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