Another rat capture pushes back Dunedin Countdown's reopening

The discovery of another rat has pushed back the reopening of a supermarket in Ōtepoti/Dunedin by one day.

Countdown Ōtepoti/Dunedin South was meant to open on Thursday, but the latest capture on Tuesday morning means it'll open on Friday instead.

A Woolworths spokesperson confirmed another rat had been caught.

"We have had one capture this morning so we are now looking at a Friday reopening," they said.

The store has been closed since February 9, following several rodent sightings. Woolworths and its pest control contractor Rentokil have since been carrying out extermination work to rid the shop of rats and mice.

The store will stay closed until both Haumaru Kai Aotearoa/NZ Food Safety and Woolworths are satisfied pest-control measures are working.

When it eventually opens, it'll be monitored to ensure food safety.

There must be three consecutive days of no pests to show pest control measures are working, then the store gets the all-clear to reopen.

Woolworths also squashed rumours that staff aren't being forced to take leave while pest eradication continues.

"We have given our Dunedin South team the options of completing work in-store, working in another nearby store or taking annual leave if they would prefer to," a spokesperson said on Tuesday.

Woolworths New Zealand director Pieter de Wet fronted cameras for the first time on Friday, three weeks after the first rat was spotted at Countdown Dunedin South.

De Wet apologised to customers for the "inconvenience".

"We were doing all the normal things and we were following all the right processes, but we just didn't see the results we were expecting to see," de Wet told Newshub.

Rodents spotted at other supermarkets 

Other supermarkets around the country have also had a similar headache in recent weeks.

A mouse was also spotted crawling around an uncovered salad in the deli department of Countdown Eastgate two weeks ago.

After that incident emerged, Woolworths New Zealand stores director Jason Stockill told Newshub that Rentokil had identified and sealed possible rodent entry points.

It was later revealed staff hadn't thrown out the deli food after the mouse was spotted, and some of it was sold.

Foodstuffs, the other supermarket behemoth, hasn't been totally rodent-free either.

An Auckland woman told Newshub she saw a mouse scurrying up the aisle at Pak'nSave Lincoln Rd, in Henderson last Tuesday.