S'porean man, 53, finds fried lizard inside packet of Golden Duck salted egg fish skin

Unpleasant surprise.

Winnie Li | January 20, 2023, 07:13 PM

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Chinese New Year is around the corner, and for many of us, it means snack time is here.

However, for one Singaporean man, surnamed Zhang (Hanyu pinyin), his snack turned out to be a different kind of protein.

On Jan. 9, the 53-year-old found a deep-fried wall lizard in his packet of Golden Duck brand salted egg fish skin, Shin Min Daily News reported.

He told Shin Min that he was traumatised by the incident and would not dare to eat fried snacks in the foreseeable future.

What happened

Zhang explained to Shin Min that he bought the fish skin online in March 2022.

However, when he opened the snack to share it with his family on Jan. 9, 2023, he discovered there was a foreign object inside.

At that time, Zhang said they had already eaten most of the snacks in the packet, and there were only a few small pieces left.

As the snack was not cheap, with each packet costing around S$7 to S$8, Zhang's family decided to pour the pieces out and eat them with rice so that they won't go to waste.

Subsequently, he realised that one of the remaining pieces of snack was in fact a fried wall lizard around 4cm to 5cm long.

Zhang told Shin Min that he was so disgusted he lost his appetite.

After taking a picture of the fried lizard as evidence, he threw it away together with the rice.

No one felt unwell, concerned about food safety

According to Zhang, no one felt unwell or suffered from diarrhoea after consuming it.

Nevertheless, he said he was concerned about the safety and hygiene of the food produced by the manufacturer.

"It was apparent that the wall lizard was fried together with the fish skin. I believe the entire batch of fish skin was fried together with this wall lizard," Zhang deduced.

Traumatised by the incident

While he felt lucky that he did not end up eating the lizard, Zhang told Shin Min that the incident had nevertheless left a psychological scar on him.

"Whenever I eat fried food, I would think of this wall lizard. I wouldn't dare to eat fried snacks in the foreseeable future," he said.

Zhang also shared that he had been keeping the unfortunate encounter to himself until recently, as he did not want to disgust his wife or children: "Even as a grown man, I felt disgusted and traumatised by it. I didn't even dare to tell my wife and my two children immediately because I was worried they would be disgusted and lose their appetite too."

When he finally informed his wife about the incident a few days ago, his wife also said she felt extremely disgusted.

The couple then decided it was better not to share it with their children for the time being.

Zhang said his family now consume snacks very carefully.

"We would pour all of them out in a bowl before we eat it to ensure there are no abnormal items inside," he said.

Submitted feedback to Golden Duck, never heard back: Zhang

Zhang told Shin Min he had raised the incident to Golden Duck's attention in the hopes that the manufacturer would improve should there be any oversights.

However, he said he has yet to receive a reply.

Zhang shared he has since filed a complaint to the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) because he was unsatisfied that the company did not seem to care about the issue.

He also clarified that he decided to publicise his experience because he wanted to raise awareness of food hygiene and believed Golden Duck should provide its customers with an explanation.

No infestations found during check: SFA

In response, SFA told Shin Min that it had conducted a check on the factory producing the fish skin upon receiving Zhang's feedback.

However, the spokesperson said officers didn't detect any infestations at the factory during the check.

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Top images via Shin Min Daily News