A Nova Scotia woman found something that she says looked like "a fish or a lizard" at the bottom of a can of Carnation milk she used to prepare her dinner on Thursday night.

Ellen Chesal told CBC News she prepared a chicken dish that included Carnation milk, punctured the top of the can and poured the milk. It wasn't until she was cleaning up after dinner that she noticed something remained in the can. Initially, she said, she thought it might be curdled milk.

"When I opened the lid and poured it out, this thing came out of the bottom of the can. It looked almost like a fish or a lizard, but it was all decomposed. There was no bone in it," Chesal said, adding it had "some dark skin on it and a bit of red."

The product remains in her fridge at the moment.

Could be 'milk skin'

A spokesperson with Smucker Foods of Canada Corp. — Carnation's parent company — is not sure what it is.

"[W]e would assume that this may be what is called "milk skin" that can develop when milk product is left opened, used over time, or not properly refrigerated," Maribeth Burns wrote in an email.

Carnation milk lizard

Ellen Chesal discovered what was in the can of Carnation milk only after she had finished eating her dinner. (Stephanie vanKampen/CBC)

Burns said the company's quality assurance policies and procedures include straining and filtering the milk throughout the production process prior to it being put in cans.

As well, Burns added, the manufacturing facility where the milk came from reviewed its production records, kept product samples and found everything checked out fine.

Chesal took photos and sent them to Carnation. She says a company representative told her they would send her some coupons for free products, as a well as a bag so that she could send the affected product back to the company.

No side effects

Chesal says she isn't looking for compensation from the company, but would like better quality controls put in place, as well as an answer.

"I would just love to know what it is and how it got in there," she said.

Milk lizard

Ellen Chesal said she did not experience any side effects from her Thursday night dinner. (Submitted by Ellen Chesal)

Chesal says she hasn't experienced any ill health from consuming the dinner.

"You know, you're lying in bed thinking, 'Is that a poisonous lizard?' You know how your mind runs," she said.