Dunedin Countdown rat infestation being treated with urgency, says Ministry for Primary Industries

Countdown customers in Dunedin have smelt a rat - and it's a real one. 

Staff said the Dunedin South store has been hit with a rat infestation but Countdown and the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) have insisted the problem is being treated with urgency. 

A photo taken in November that emerged in the Otago Daily Times on Friday is just a glimpse of what staff said was a rodent infestation. 

The supermarket has remained open and said they are tackling the pest problem proactively. 

Newshub's camera spotted a rat trap out the back of the supermarket on Friday.  

But some customers spoken to were rattled.

This photo taken in November is just a glimpse of what staff say is a rodent infestation. Photo credit: Otago Daily Times

"It's not very good at all, is it?" one told Newhsub. 

"Well, other shops are asked to close so I think they should make sure it's done properly, but they should have done it months ago," another said. 

The store was quiet on Friday morning. 

Countdown Dunedin South. Photo credit: Grant Findlay/Newshub.

"There's hardly any customers here now," one customer said. "We come here every week and the car park [is] only [a] quarter full." 

MPI said it's closely monitoring the company and is satisfied the supermarket is treating the problem with urgency.  

Rats can contaminate foods, surfaces and should not be around food. 

In a statement, Countdown/Woolworths said it has comprehensive pest management plans in all its stores - including Dunedin South - and is working closely with specialist pest control contractors.