While enjoying a salad, made out of packaged lettuce she bought at a store, a Maine woman found a 3-inch-long dead lizard sticking to her fork.

Michelle Carr, who lives in Kittery, Maine, and works as a nurse, had no idea and was in for the shock of her life when she decided to buy a bag of packaged lettuce for the first time from Shaw’s, a supermarket in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, on Jan. 26, ABC-affiliated WMUR reported. 

She washed the romaine lettuce thoroughly before preparing a salad with the leafy vegetable as well as onions, grape tomatoes and an avocado. Not giving it a second thought, Carr dug in and took a few mouthfuls of the salad before realizing her fork was not holding up a vegetable, but something dead and squishy.

"I put my fork into my salad after a couple of bites and realized that my fork was not in an avocado slice," she said. "It was a lizard. It was disgusting; it was a shock. I immediately started to retch.”

After vomiting and calming herself down from the initial shock, Carr noticed that the dead reptile did not have its tail attached to its body. "There's no way to know whether or not I actually ingested the tail or not," Carr said.

One of Carr’s friend’s from New Hampshire, who is a biologist, identified the creature as a blue-bellied lizard from California. Incidentally the company which distributed the packaged lettuce, was also located in California, suggesting the lizard might have crawled into the bag at the time of packaging or transport.

When Carr tried to contact the Health Department, she was told to get in touch with the Food and Drug Administration as it was that agency which handled issues related to packaged foods that are distributed across state borders. Carr also complained to the super market which sold her the product and they told her that they will notify the suppliers.

"How could this happen?" she said, ABC 7 reported. "The first time and only time I've ever bought a bag of prepackaged lettuce, this happens. Go figure."

Carr was worried that she might have ingested some form of harmful bacteria that might make breastfeeding her newborn son risky. Two of the top concerns were exposing her infant to diseases such as E.coli and Salmonella.

Carr hopes others will not make the same mistake she did and properly check the packaging for leaks and examine its contents before using them.

"It's not just something you read about in the papers," she said. "We need to be really diligent about washing your produce no matter where you get it from."

Teresa Edington, an external communication and community relations manager for Shaw’s, commented on the incident saying: “Shaw’s takes all issues regarding the quality and safety of any product sold in our stores very seriously. We were notified of this matter and immediately informed the supplier. We are working with the supplier to determine the cause and the steps needed to prevent this from reoccurring.”

Apart from the FDA, Carr has also contacted the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, and is waiting to hear back from them.