Home /  News /  New Zealand

Woolworths Looks To Reopen Dunedin Store As Rats Go Quiet

South Dunedin Countdown temporarily closes after more rats were trapped on the week of 5 February, 2024. Photo: RNZ / Tess Brunton

No rats have been seen or caught over the last two nights at an infested Dunedin store, Woolworths says.

More than 20 rats have been caught at the South Dunedin Countdown supermarket which has been closed since 10 February.


kashish foods competition

The store first became aware of the unwanted rodents in October and initially thought they were crawling into the building.

But last week, Woolworths confirmed it had found evidence of rats nesting in the supermarket's walls.

New Zealand Food Safety deputy director-general Vincent Arbuckle confirmed to RNZ last Friday that Woolworths had "uncovered evidence of rats nesting within the supermarket and have further stepped up their response through their pest management company".

"We continue to be satisfied that Woolworths is taking the matter seriously and is putting in place the right measures to manage the problem at the store, including deep cleaning, maintenance, and proactive pest control measures," he said.

A Woolworths spokesperson said it was aiming to reopen the store on Wednesday morning, provided it met its agreement with the authorities of no rodent activity for 72 hours.

The last rat sighting was overnight on Saturday.

Once the store reopened, Arbuckle said food compliance officers would monitor the store for a period of time.

"So that consumers can have confidence food at the store is safe. Third-party verification under the Food Act will also take place," he said.

In South Dunedin, customers earlier told RNZ they have mixed ideas on whether they would return to the store.

Some said the company had lost their business for not speaking out about the infestation from the start, while others planned to return once the store reopened.

Related Posts