Pret A Manger (officiously pronounced pret-ah- mawn-jzay) is an international restaurant chain with a handful of American locations that sells ready-to-eat salads, soups, sandwiches and such at a premium. The premium is for “natural, tasty” ingredients combined on the day of purchase in a kitchen on the premises.
On Monday afternoon, around lunchtime, Wall Street Journal editor Kathryn Lurie posted a photo on Instagram of her colleague’s Pret A Manger albacore tuna nicoise salad. The no-doubt-otherwise-delicious salad definitely appears to have contained just one ingredient way too many: a dead frog.
The unfortunate colleague ate about half the salad, reports The Wall Street Journal. Then, at some disgusting, awkward point, she noticed the dead frog amid the lettuce and slices of hardboiled egg.
The frog was green and brown—not too differently colored than the surrounding bed of lettuce. It was about two inches long.
The horror-struck woman called her coworkers to view the salad, and to verify that she did in fact eat half a salad containing a dead frog.
The Pret A Manger that served the sickening salad is located on Sixth Avenue between 47th and 48th streets, right by the Wall Street Journal headquarters.
The unidentified employee returned the salad to the restaurant, with the lifeless frog still inside. The manager apologized and thoughtfully offered a refund along with — wait for it — a free lunch voucher.
Ellen Roggemann, vice president of brand marketing for the company in the United States, was also apologetic.
“We are so regretful that this has happened,” she told the Journal.
Roggemann suggested that the awesome organic purity of Pret A Manger’s ingredients and food preparation processes is surely to blame.
“We don’t use any pesticides with our greens and they go through multiple washing cycles,” she explained. “An unfortunate piece of organic matter has made its way through.”
In a statement concerning the incident, Pret A Manger also stressed the lack of pesticide use and promised to “make every effort” to ensure that future salads don’t have dead frogs in them.
In addition to the Instagram photo, Lurie tweeted about the incident as well:
Guys, to be clear, it wasn’t my salad. It was a colleague’s, and she was pretty shaken, understandably!
— Kathryn Lurie (@kathrynlurie) December 30, 2013
Another Wall Street Journal editor, Troy McCullough, had this pretty hilarious response:
@kathrynlurie Imagine how the frog feels!
— Troy McCullough (@idletype) December 30, 2013