Sarasota woman makes disturbing discovery in bag of Publix spinach

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Posted: Wednesday, January 8, 2014 10:07 pm | Updated: 11:47 am, Wed Nov 12, 2014.

SARASOTA, Fla. - A Sarasota woman got the shock of her life recently when she says she found the skull of a bird inside her bag of frozen spinach.

Madeline Brogan was preparing food for a New Years Eve party and discovered something unusual inside the Publix brand bag.

"When I was draining it, I ran into something hard and I didn't want to throw it down the garbage disposal," said Brogan.

Once thawed in her sink, she noticed it was the skull of a small bird.

"There's an eye missing out of it," said Brogan. "I would expect a bug, or a natural part of something that grows on the ground, even a pebble or a stick, but not a bird."

Brogan shared her story with the managers of the Publix where she bought the product, which is located at the intersection of Honore Avenue and Fruitville Road. They offered her a full refund of $1.79. The bag of spinach was manufactured in the United States, but it's unclear as to which state.

Publix spokesperson, Brian West sent ABC 7 the following statement:

We did receive communication from the customer through our Customer Care department, which was shared with our Corporate Quality Assurance team.  They are working through the details with the customer and the supplier.  We have not received any additional complaints and believe this an isolated incident.

On Thursday, Brogan says a Publix official with the Corporate Quality Assurance team will travel to Sarasota and meet with her regarding the incident. In the meantime, she says she won't ever eat frozen spinach again.

"I will probably need therapy because that little thing is going to haunt me," she said.


Brogan was visited Thursday by a Publix representative from company headquarters in Lakeland to discuss the situation.  He presented Brogan with a gift card, a gift basket, and a selection of Publix Greenwise frozen fruits and vegetables.

Publix gift basket

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  • A bird in the hand posted at 8:24 pm on Mon, Jan 13, 2014.

    A bird in the hand Posts: 1

    I live in Pennsylvania and recently my husband was preparing Italian Wedding soup,which includes using spinach. He purchased a 10oz frozen box of spinach of Essential Everyday from our Shop n Save grocery store. After preparing the soup(dumping the entire block of frozen spinach in the broth) he sat down and consumed 2 bowls. When he went to put the remaining soup into a container he noticed a large "chunk" that wouldn't break up. He assumed it was spinach that didn't defrost. When he spooned it out he discovered a WHOLE BIRD.
    This event was on December 18,2013 and to this date the company has yet to respond with anything more then a form letter and a $3 coupon for the same product. Currently the FDA has file on this case and we would be very interested if there is any connection with the distributor. Please feel free to contact me by e-mail.

  • Boater Pete posted at 9:16 pm on Thu, Jan 9, 2014.

    Boater Pete Posts: 4

    "will probably need therapy", the translation is: "I am going to find a lawyer and try to milk this little bird head for all it's worth. With the high cost of psychological help, I want enough money to visit a therapist every day for my natural life, if I want to."

    Frivolous law suits have reached epidemic proportions, every time the slightest irregularity in life occurs, people want to sue. Why else is this item here in print? WHy try to embarrass our neighborhood grocery store, but to seek monetary damages. I really don't think anyone is to blame. So much is mechanized in frozen food production, a bird just got caught in the equipment.

    We have so much food available to us, all year 'round. I feel thankful to live in such a great state and country.

  • laytonian posted at 6:44 pm on Thu, Jan 9, 2014.

    laytonian Posts: 1

    Chili finger! Chili finger!

  • dlongbeach posted at 3:33 pm on Thu, Jan 9, 2014.

    dlongbeach Posts: 1

    Therapy? Oh brother.

  • bellas posted at 9:04 am on Thu, Jan 9, 2014.

    bellas Posts: 2

    thanks for sharing this
    dau tu mua nha |
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    viem vom hong |

  • Moomin Papa posted at 7:41 am on Thu, Jan 9, 2014.

    Moomin Papa Posts: 1

    If birds heads were often found in bags of frozen spinach I could see a reason to stop buying it.

    And therapy? Good grief. Seriously, just get over it, move on and buy another bag of frozen spinach. If her life is so fragile that this warrants a complete breakdown then she has more to worry about than this a once-in-a-lifetime mountain out of a molehill.

    Of course, if she routinely finds birds heads in spinach and other frozen goods, I take it all back and offer my condolences. That would suck because it doesn't happen to the rest of us.


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