Costco Frog Salad: Does Organic Food Come With Live Treats? (VIDEO)

11/02/2011 04:36 pm ET | Updated Jan 02, 2012

Liya Ma, a special education teacher in Pasadena, California, was in for a big surprise (in a small body) when she bought a box of organic salad from the Alhambra Costco on Monday. As she told the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, when she picked up the plastic container, she "saw two little eyes looking at me. I screamed and I dropped it." Looking up at Ma was a live tree frog.

Ma took the box to the Costco store manager and, rather than complaining, asked if she could keep the frog as a pet. The store manager agreed to give Ma both the salad and frog for free. Ma proceeded to name the pet "Dave" and take it home to show her friends.

Craig Wilson, Costco's vice president of food safety, told the SGV Tribune he has never heard of this happening before. "I am stunned that this happened," Wilson said. "It's the kind of thing we don't want to tolerate."

Wilson continued, "If you consider that he's been under refrigeration.. you go, 'Holy cow he's one tough frog.' "

The salad Ma bought was an organic spring mix grown and packaged by Babe Farms of Santa Maria. Judy Lundberg, the president of Babe Farms, told the Huffington Post that the incident actually confirms that her product is safe and healthy.

"[The salad] is strictly organic, so there's no sprays and pesticides," said Lundberg. Instead, the product is cleaned by running it through washers and shakers, explained Lundberg, and Babe Farms processes 20,000 pounds of salad a day this way.

Lundberg is taking the attention to her company in stride, and, like Wilson, expressed admiration for the hardy tree frog. "There are very few instances in which this happens, and in this case, the little critter lived and was healthy."

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