Gross Claim of the Week: Mouse Head in Can of Chick Peas From Philly ShopRite

Fittingly, the chick peas were to be used in a tailgate hummus for the gross Eagles-Cowboys game.


Lots of things went wrong on Sunday at the Eagles-Cowboys game at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. But none of that tops the claim of two Philadelphia roommates who say that they found a severed mouse head in a can of chick peas that morning.


Justin Holman and his roommate Kelsey Makhoul were at their home near 19th and Ellsworth in South Philadelphia on Sunday morning, preparing for an Eagles-Cowboys tailgate party. They decided to make some hummus and pulled out a can of ShopRite-brand chick peas that they purchased at the ShopRite on Oregon Avenue.

Makhoul opened the can and drained the liquid out while the lid was still partially connected, and when she completely removed the lid, she says she saw the grotesque sight in the above photo. It appears to be the severed head of a mouse — one that looks like it’s been sitting in a can of liquid for a while.

“It’s completely heinous,” says Holman, who snapped the photo. “She said, ‘Oh God!’ and called me over, and as soon as I saw it, it was pretty obvious what it was. I legitimately gagged.”

They decided to scrap the plans for hummus.

“Once that happened, it was kind of like game over,” Holman tells us.

They put the can of chick peas — apparent severed mouse head and all — into a Ziploc bag and stuck it on their kitchen counter, where it remains. Personally, we’d throw it in the freezer to stave off any further nastiness, but …

Makhoul, a physical therapy student, says she expects to speak with ShopRite representatives today about her grotesque allegations and hopes that they will issue a recall or take some other kind of preventative action.

ShopRite spokesperson Karen O’Shea says that she was previously unaware of the claim and requested more information. Later, she sent the following statement:

Product quality and food safety are our top priority at ShopRite and we take reports of this nature seriously. At this time the customer has not contacted us directly, either through the store or our 1-800-ShopRite Customer Care Center. We encourage these customers to please contact us at 1-800-ShopRite so that we can obtain the product and investigate further.

History is full of stories about gross things in food, some of which turn out to be legit (hello, gross thing in tuna can) while some others, not so much (hello, Kentucky Fried Rat.) Guess we’ll have to wait for the lab results on this one.

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