A customer at a West Auckland supermarket was left “disgusted” after she spotted a mouse running through the aisles on Tuesday, just days after two supermarket stores were in the spotlight for rodent problems.
Ranui resident Kelly was shopping with family at Pak’nSave on Lincoln Rd around lunchtime on Tuesday when she discovered the mouse running along the floor.
Disgusted by her find, she quickly grabbed her phone to capture the evidence.
Speaking to the Herald, she claimed she saw it running from near the bakery section.
“I walked up to the staff member and told them there was a mouse running around on the floor. She grabbed a box and tried to catch it but it kept getting away,” Kelly said.
“I had to help her and we eventually got it into the box. She went to tell one of her bosses about it and we then left the store.
“This was disgusting that it was inside the store. We saw it running from the bakery section and made its way to where the shampoo aisle is in the middle of the store.”
Kelly said the incident has put her off shopping at Pak’nSave Lincoln Rd for a while.
In a statement to the Herald, a Foodstuffs spokesperson confirmed the incident and said pest control is currently on site to deal with the mouse.
Foodstuffs stressed that Pak’nSave on Lincoln Rd has a sound hygiene and food safety record, and that the safety of their customers is their first priority.
“A lone mouse was sighted by a customer at Pak’nSave Lincoln Rd in Auckland today, the incident was reported, and the mouse quickly caught,” they said in a statement.
“The store’s pest control company have arrived at the store, all appropriate action will be promptly taken and additional measures put in place if required.
“The store has an excellent record of food safety and hygiene, with the last pest management service being provided and passed on the 8th February 2024.
“The health and safety of our customers is always our top priority. All Foodstuffs stores manage an ongoing Food Control Plan (FCP) and are regularly serviced by their appointed pest control service provider with reports generated.”
Supermarkets plagued with rats
The incident in West Auckland comes after a Countdown store in Dunedin had to be closed down after it was plagued with rats.
Countdown Dunedin South said on Friday it would be closed for 48 hours to deal with the pests. The closure has since been extended to Monday and Tuesday as more rats were found.
Woolworths New Zealand director of stores Jason Stockill said four captures were reported on Monday. The rats were believed to have been caught in the store after the entry and exit sites were sealed during the weekend.
“In order to check any other rodents caught in-store have been captured, we are keeping the store closed for a further 24 hours.”
A staff member, who did not want to be named, told the Herald they had encountered rats throughout the store for several months, including spotting one running across the chillers.
Meanwhile, at Christchurch’s Eastgate Countdown, a video posted to the Chinese social media platform Xiaohongshu showing a mouse on top of a salad has prompted an investigation.
Stockill confirmed the incident occurred on the evening of February 7.
He said the incident was reported and Rentokil identified some entry points, which were then sealed.
A dead mouse was found the next day, “indicating its pest control programme is working and there have been no sightings since”.
New Zealand Food Safety deputy director-general Vincent Arbuckle said Woolworths had been advised an independent review of its pest-management processes across its New Zealand operation by AsureQuality would be taking place.
A food safety compliance officer had been sent to Eastgate Countdown today.
“Our investigations into the Christchurch incident are continuing. However, it appears proper procedures were not followed immediately after the mouse was spotted.
“We would expect the food in the deli counter to have been disposed of immediately. People are right to expect good levels of pest management and hygiene in supermarkets.”
Woolworths has been asked for a report on the Eastgate incident and any other recent rodent issues, he said.
“We have the ability to take further action, like we have in Dunedin, where we recommended that the Countdown Dunedin South be shut and remain closed until NZFS and Woolworths are satisfied that there is evidence that the new pest-control measures have worked.”