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Bakery that supplied Pak’nSave garlic bread with rat’s foot says it is shocked at discovery

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Te Awamutu mum Shannon Bellwood said she found this rat’s foot in garlic bread her son was eating.

The bakery owner that supplies Pak’nSave bread and pastries said the whole business was “in shock” after claims a rat’s foot was found in a loaf of garlic bread.

Te Awamutu woman Shannon Bellman said her 10-month-old son was eating the store-bought garlic bread on Friday when she pulled a rat’s foot from the toddler’s mouth.

The mum of two called her local Pak’nSave immediately with her complaint spurring a nationwide recall of the foil-wrapped garlic bread.

The two-loaf packs are delivered to Pak’nSave wrapped and bagged and are produced by French Bakery, a wholesale distributor in Christchurch.

Gary Barber from French Bakery said the business was informed at the weekend of the discovery.

“We are all in shock about the notification we got over the weekend,” Barber told the Herald.

A Te Awamutu mum pulled a rat's foot from the mouth of her 10-month-old son as he was eating garlic bread from Pak'nSave.
A Te Awamutu mum pulled a rat’s foot from the mouth of her 10-month-old son as he was eating garlic bread from Pak’nSave.

“The issues are obvious and we have to do an internal food safety investigation and also an external (investigation) where the experts come in here as well.”

Asked if he had ever seen a rat on the premises, Barber said he hadn’t.

“None whatsoever and our reporting from pest control comes up absolutely okay,” he said.

“As I said we are in shock so we just have to go through the process.”

New Zealand Food Safety said it was not yet clear where the contamination occurred and that it could have happened at a different point in the food chain.

French Bakery, which opened in 1978, supplies bread, pastries, cakes and tarts to numerous restaurants and distributors around New Zealand including Pak’nSave, Trents and Gilmours.

The garlic bread Bellman purchased was from Pak’nSave in Te Awamutu.

Bellman said she was “traumatised’ after finding the rat’s foot in her son’s mouth.

“I saw this poking out of his mouth and grabbed it, I couldn’t believe it,” she said.

Her son, who had a weakened immune system, had an upset stomach at the weekend but was now back to normal.

Bellman was upset claiming Pak’nSave had not taken the issue seriously until her friend posted a photo of the chewed rodent’s foot to the company’s Facebook page.

This morning Bellman received a call from the Pak’nSave store owner who had apologised.

A Te Awamutu Pak'nSave customer found a rat's foot in a garlic bread loaf her son was eating. Photo / supplied
A Te Awamutu Pak’nSave customer found a rat’s foot in a garlic bread loaf her son was eating. Photo / supplied

“Things are finally getting taken seriously and are underway and they have admitted to their wrongs,” she said.

“I just wanted that garlic bread off the shelves immediately so this didn’t happen to anyone else.

“I mean I got the foot but where is the rest of that rat?”

Emma Wooster from Foodstuffs said an investigation was underway that would take a few days to complete as it involved different agencies.

Wooster was not aware of any other complaints.

New Zealand Food Safety deputy director-general Vincent Arbuckle said they were still investigating the issue, and noted that the contamination could have occurred at different points in the food chain.

“If there is an issue at the supplier – we will ensure required corrective actions are undertaken,” Arbuckle said.

He said there had been no further complaints and no further rat parts had been discovered.

New Zealand Food Safety had asked Bellman to remove her social media post while it established where the contamination took place.

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