Woolworths shoppers' disturbing find at NZ supermarket: 'Was gonna be sick'

It comes after an investigation into the hygiene standards at multiple Woolworths stores in New Zealand.

A disturbing sight inside a Woolworths store gave some customers "a good fright" with one woman reportedly looking as if "she was going to be sick".

Shoppers spotted a large mouse lying on a shelf in the breakfast cereal aisle at a store in Auckland, according to local media — once again raising concerns about the state of the supermarket's New Zealand stores.

It comes following an extensive investigation into previous footage showing rodents running rampant across multiple stores — including in Dunedin and Christchurch — earlier this year. New Zealand Food Safety (NZFS) confirmed to the New Zealand Herald officials are looking into the matter once more after another mouse was spotted surrounded by an opened bag of cereal on Sunday.

A dead mouse appears to be under a grill next to opened Ricies cereal at the Woolworths Pukekohe store in New Zealand.
A dead mouse was seen next to an open cereal packet in a Woolworths store in New Zealand. Source: New Zealand Herald.

An image taken inside the Pukekohe store was reportedly shared on social media by a concerned shopper. The mouse, believed to be dead, appeared to have chewed through the corner of a bag of Sanitarium Ricies, which can be seen on the supermarket floor.

One shopper told the Herald she saw a woman who "looked as if she was gonna be sick" before informing a staff member who was "pretty quick to clean it up".

It's understood New Zealand Food Safety (NZFS) has been in contact with the store regarding the matter. Meanwhile, a Woolworths spokesperson told the publication the supermarket was investigating

Deputy director-general of NZFS, Vincent Arbuckle, said it was not unusual for rodents to find their way into supermarkets "from time to time" but insisted "they should not be in contact with food, or be evident to consumers, as it appears in this photo."

Rodent infestation plagues Woolworths

Earlier this year, the Dunedin South Woolworths (formerly Countdown Dunedin South) was forced to close for 18 days after numerous sightings of rodents in the store. Local media reported up to 19 rats were caught in the Dunedin store.

Days earlier, a mouse was spotted scurrying over potato salad in the deli section of a separate store in the city of Christchurch. The incidents prompted New Zealand Food Safety to launch an independent review of Woolworths' pest management processes across its New Zealand stores.

Rats seen peering out from a refrigerated shelf in the Countdown, Dunedin South store.
Rats were spotted in Countdown, Dunedin South, sitting on a shelf and looking up at customers. Source: Newshub

Meanwhile, a customer last week admitted they saw bird poo dripping along an overhead aisle sign at Woolworths' Three Kings Auckland store. The shopper said the sign was directly above food items.

A spokesperson for Woolworths said birds in stores were "an unfortunately common issue", the signs were cleaned once staff were made aware of the issue. It is understood the supermarket uses several preventative measures to deter birds, including netting and flaps over doors.

Previously in Australia, Woolworths launched an investigation earlier this year after black mould was discovered spread across a milk fridge at a Sydney store.

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