NEW JERSEY (CHASING NEWS) - What would you do if you found an animal bone in your bag of trail mix?
Chasing News' Rohan Mohanty was contacted by a man who says that he found the very off-putting surprise in a bag of Whole Foods Trail Mix in Cherry Hill, NJ on Sunday.
Like any other Sunday, Tom Lukas, his wife and young son headed to Whole Foods for some snacks and shopping. He picked up a bag of Trail Mix.
He left and was driving and eating handfuls of it. The bag contains almonds, cashews, cranberries raisins, blueberries, walnuts and raspberries. That's why when he bit down on something very hard, he says he knew something was wrong. Then he pulled out something he didn't want to see from his mouth
Working in the medical field, Tom says he knew it looked like an animal bone.
"We got the trail mix, its the 365 Berry Bounty Trail Mix from Whole Foods and I took a huge mouthful and I bit down on something hard and I pulled it out and examined it while I was driving and I handed it to my wife and asked her hey, 'does this look like its a bone?' She said yes, so I dumped it back in the bag and we called Whole Foods immediately. Nausea kicked in immediately," Lukas said. "And I can only imagine what other body parts I was eating while consuming that bag of trail mix."
Tom wrote a complaint that was taken and signed by the manager at the Cherry Hill Whole Foods.
He also filed a complaint with the Camden County Board of Health.
Tom then took the bone to his local vet who confirmed that it was, indeed, a small mammal bone. He also let us take the bag and bone to an expert for confirmation.
The bag was then taken to Animal and Avian Care Center in Cherry Hill where Dr. Kenneth Dazen and Dr. Sharonda Meade inspected it in their office.
"My initial impression here is there's a little bone in the actual foot that actually would make up typically the heel bone. It's called the tuber calcanei. So if we look at it, it has that appearance,"Dazen said.
"This could be some type of rodent, especially if it is found in a bag of trail mix," Meade said.
"It looks larger than a mouse or rat, maybe a big rat, but possibly the size of a guinea pig," Dazen said.
For another look, pictures were sent to another expert. Dr. Kyla Beguesse, a Zoological Pathology fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who has a special interest in paleopathology for consultation.
Based on the morphology and size of the bone, she concluded that the bone most closely resembled a bone from the tarsal region of a small mammal. Additionally, the size reference in the photographs suggested this bone was too large to belong to the common domestic rat or mouse.
After the bone was investigated, Chasing News actually headed back to the Cherry Hill Whole Foods, and not surprisingly, there was a step stool in the aisle of the trail mix and all of the Berry Bounty Trail Mix bags were immediately removed. There was a sticker that said "temp out" where they once were.
They reached out to Whole Foods for comment, and their statement is puzzling. After sending them:
This is Whole Foods statement:
"Because the Chasing News team has withheld the results of any lab examination of the object allegedly found in one of our products, we cannot speak directly to this claim. Whole Foods Market is deeply committed to quality assurance and transparency, which cannot be said of Chasing News."
The only thing they don't have is the bone, which remains in Tom's possession.
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