A boy aged five got the shock of his short life when he opened his box of breakfast cereal and a 2ft live snake wriggled out.
Jordan Willett, from Dawley, Shropshire, had been exploring the box of Golden Puffs hoping for a gift to play with. His mother Theresa, 23, who was having breakfast with her son at the time, said that at first she thought it was a toy for children.
She said: "My lad, he went to open his cereal on Bank Holiday Monday and luckily enough I was behind him because a snake popped out. I just screamed. I grabbed the box from him and found some Sellotape. Jordan's still in shock. He's not eating. Neither am I."
The family, who brought the 89p packet of Collier's brand cereal from a branch of Netto at Wrekin Retail Park on Saturday, said they would be taking things further. Clive Cooper, Netto trading director, said: "This does seem to be a bizarre incident but we are taking it very seriously. Netto is in discussions with its supplier to ensure that all procedures are reviewed and we will be making checks on our stock."
An expert called in to examine the corn snake, which is non-venomous and feeds on mice and birds, said he had no doubt the animal had been kept as a pet in Britain and appeared well-looked after. Corn snakes can grow to 5ft long, and crush prey before eating them, but they are friendly to humans. The snake is in a pet shop.