A woman in Hawaii ended up in the hospital after making a shocking discovery while eating her deli sandwich.
Chaunda Rodrigues purchased two of her favorite sandwiches at the Island Naturals Market & Deli last week, Hawaii News Now reported. Shortly after biting into one of them, she realized something was wrong.
"When I ate the second side of the sandwich, something got stuck to my teeth. It was weird so I spit it out," Rodrigues wrote in a Facebook post describing the ordeal.
Rodrigues quickly discovered that the thing stuck in her teeth was not part of her usual avocado sandwich, but rather a part of a large slug. She wrote on Facebook that she bit into the creature entirely, as she hadn't seen it before taking her bite.
"The piece that came out of my mouth was around like, one inch," she told Hawaii News Now. "But I noticed when I took a picture that there was a second half of the slug."
Disgusted, Rodrigues called the hospital, concerned she might have contracted some sort of disease. That ultimately led to the slug being sent to a lab where scientists discovered it tested positive for rat lungworm, a parasite, Fox News reported.
According to the Hawaii Department of Health, rat lungworm can infect humans if ingested, causing such as headaches, nausea and vomiting.
"I was just like, 'I can’t believe this is happening to me.' It was disgusting," Rodrigues told Hawaii News Now.
Rodrigues was ultimately told she had to wait for symptoms to present before doctors could do anything, but later went to the emergency room and demanded treatment for herself and her husband and small child, both of whom shared bites of the sandwich.
She wrote on Facebook that she was given albendazole, an anti-worm medicine that prevents the creatures from reproducing inside a person's body.
"I didn’t want to wait to be infected or wait for my husband or infant to be infected," Rodrigues told Fox News. "So multiple doctors prescribed us albendazole, and we still don’t have the full amount needed for treatment."
It turned out the treatment was needed. Rodrigues later posted that she tested positive for rat lungworm.
"Well I now know that if I ate that slug and didn’t get treatment I would have gotten Rat Lungworm Disease. All because of a sandwich we think is healthy and harmless because since it’s coming from a deli and being prepared in front of us it should be okay," Rodrigues wrote on Facebook.
Island Naturals, meanwhile, has apologized for the incident. Russell Ruderman, the store's founder and president, told Hawaii News Now that he believes the slug came from improperly washed lettuce used in the deli that day.
"We deeply regret it," Ruderman said. "Among the many things we’re doing as a result is we’ve revised our safety precautions, but we’re also going to stop using local leaf lettuce in any of our kitchens."