A woman chef taking apart a lettuce to make hamburgers received the shock of her life after finding a brightly coloured snake wriggling around inside the leaves.
She filmed the moment she found the snake slithering inside the lettuce at the kitchen at which she works in the Brazilian municipality of Catalao on 23rd May.
The cook, who wished to remain anonymous, told local media that the lettuce had arrived in a box delivered by a supplier.
She said she only noticed the plant contained a live snake when she went to wash it.
She told news site G1: “I threw it into the sink and moved away. It was one of the biggest scares of my life. At the time I called the fire brigade.”
Two firefighters went to the eatery and removed the 30-centimetre- (12-in-) long Brazilian white-collared slug eater (‘Dipsas mikanii’ or ‘Sibynomorphus mikanii’) from the premises.
After its capture, it was placed in a container with water and taken to a local wild animal screening centre.
The species is non-venomous and, as such, is not considered harmful to humans. It is considered to be excellent at pest control in the environment.
It is found in South America, mainly in Brazil, and feeds on small molluscs such as slugs.