NZ Food Safety investigating after shocking video shows mouse in salad at Christchurch's Eastgate Countdown

New Zealand Food Safety is investigating after video emerged of a mouse scurrying across an uncovered salad at Christchurch's Eastgate Countdown.    

A Chinese tourist who is cycling through New Zealand captured the disgusting moment on camera and posted it to Chinese social media platform Xiaohongshu (Little Red Book).    

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"Suddenly I noticed something moving, and it turned out to be a mouse," he said in the post.    

The video shows the mouse emerging from between a section of potato and kumara before climbing to the rim of the salad bowl and beginning a partial circumnavigation.

The video ends with the rodent appearing to nose its way back into the bowl of food, with its tail hanging down the side. 

The mouse was in the salad section of the deli at Countdown Eastgate.
The mouse was in the salad section of the deli at Countdown Eastgate. Photo credit: Supplied

Woolworths New Zealand director of stores Jason Stockill confirmed to Newshub a live mouse was discovered in the salad section of the deli last Wednesday evening. 

Stockill said it was reported to Rentokil, an exterminating and pest control company, which identified some entry points that have now been sealed.  

He told Newshub a dead mouse was found the next day and its pest control programme is "working and there have been no sightings since". 

"We would like to apologise to our customers for this incident and reassure them that food safety remains a focus for us," Stockill said.  

"While rodent control is an ongoing focus for the food industry and we believe this was an isolated incident, we take this extremely seriously and are reviewing our pest management control programme for the store alongside Rentokil. 

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"Our store team work hard every day to maintain our high standards for cleanliness and work closely with pest control services to manage rodent populations that can be found in urban areas."

The poster, who went by the name Qiangyu Sen on Xiaohongshu, said he informed staff and said, "although they were shocked, their next actions made me helpless".  

He said they "accidently let the mouse escape. They did not stop selling and continued to greet customers". 

"I never thought something like this could happen in New Zealand."  

One comment on the video instructed Sen to "complain to the health department".   

While the health and safety problems are starkly apparent, one person couldn't help commenting "such a cute mouse".   

Another commenter said, "this is Ratatouille," referencing the 2007 Disney movie in which a rat becomes an esteemed French chef.   

New Zealand Food Safety said in a statement it was concerned about the Eastgate incident given the ongoing issue at Countdown Dunedin South and has asked parent company Woolworths to provide more information. 

"We will have a Food Compliance Officer at the Eastgate store today as part of our investigation." 

The Dunedin South Countdown store is currently closed for pest control work after rats were discovered.   

"With our increased pest management and the uncovering of the extra entry points, there were 13 rats caught over the weekend," a Woolworths New Zealand spokesperson told Newshub on Monday. 

"We believe all pest entry sites have been identified and now sealed. We can also confirm there continues to be no evidence of nesting in store," they said.

It comes after Woolworths NZ director of stores Jason Stockill said in a statement last week that there had been "no evidence of rodent activity since January 28".

"Unfortunately, we have caught four rodents over the last few days, so it is clear we have more work to do," she said in the statement. 

The Dunedin South Countdown infestation became apparent after a photo leaked to the Otago Daily Times last month showed a rat in one of the supermarket's chillers.