Sainsbury’s has apologised to a customer who was left in shock after her weekly shop was rudely interrupted by a rat in the food aisle.
The incident happened at its Hardwick store in Lynn, with the supermarket giant blaming the vermin on the neighbouring factory, Pinguin Foods.
But that left the woman shopper furious. She told the Lynn News: “I was completely shocked and disgusted by their excuse.
“They’re not taking any ownership of the problem and blaming the problem on someone else.”
The customer, from Middleton, who wished to remain anonymous, was doing her weekly shop at the store with her husband last month when she saw the rat run between the aisles near the cereal and bakery area.
Staff at the bakery seemed shocked when she reported the sighting, but when a store manager said he knew about the rat, she wrote an email to Sainsburys to complain.
She told Sainsbury’s in the email: “After dwelling on this on the drive home, I threw all my shopping away totalling £65 and will not shop at Sainsbury’s until I am reassured that you have adequate health and safety in place.
“I regularly spend £300 a month at this store and am disgusted.”
But it was only after she tweeted Sainsburys about the rat that she received a phone call.
A follow-up letter from Karen McGibbon, from Sainsburys’ executive office, said: “We take our food safety and pest control responsibilities very seriously indeed and we are treating this matter with the upmost urgency and doing everything necessary to bring this matter to a satisfactory conclusion.
“We believe the source of the problem to be a neighbouring food factory, and don’t believe that rats are nesting in the store, nor there to be an infestation.”
She also said there had been no further rat sightings, although pest control were still on the site daily.
The customer said she was disappointed that Sainsbury’s had sought to put the blame on a neighbouring property and personally doubted that a food factory would be the source of the problem.
She said: “I used to be quite loyal to Sainsburys but I’ll be doing my weekly shop elsewhere from now on.”
A statement by Sainsbury’s to the Lynn News said: “We are sorry for the experience our customer had at the beginning of January.
“Hygiene is always our top priority and we would like to reassure customers that we are confident that the issue in our store has been resolved.”
Pinguin were contacted for a comment but had not replied at the time of going to press.