Mouse found in bag of potato chips most probably entered bag outside factory, snack maker says

Frito-Lay, a snack company, said Tuesday that a mouse, which was found in a Montana man's bag of potato chips, most probably entered the bag in the man's house, and was definitely not fried at the factory.

An independent veterinary pathologist found that the mouse entered the bag alive after it left the factory, Frito-Lay said Tuesday. The Montana Department of Health said it agreed.

The bag of chips had been left open for two weeks in the man's house before the mouse was found, Frito-Lay spokeswoman Aurora Gonzalez said. The pathologist also found evidence of mouse droppings in the bag, she said.

But, Jack Hines, who pulled the mouse out of a bag of barbecue potato chips, said he believes that Frito-Lay is trying to cover up its own mistake.

"They said it don't go through the cooker," Hines said of Frito-Lay. "I don't believe it."

Gonzalez said the company believed from the start that the mouse had not been deep fried at the factory.

"Given our rigorous safety and quality protocols, given the fact that the bag had been opened for 10 days, this is what we would have thought. But is important to do the investigation so we know what happened," she said. "Obviously, at Frito-Lay our first priority is to make quality, safe snacks for our consumers. When questions of quality or safety arise, we take them very seriously."

Hines, 66, said he is looking for a lawyer to help him pursue the matter.

A similar discovery occurred earlier this year in Colorado. An investigation in that case also revealed the mouse had chewed its way into the chip bag after it had left the Frito-Lay plant.

Frito-Lay is a unit of PepsiCo Inc.