Rat-ridden Dunedin South Countdown reopens after 19-day closure

A Dunedin Countdown supermarket that has been rat-ridden over the past month has reopened its doors on Wednesday morning.   

Woolworths New Zealand's Director of Stores Jason Stockill confirmed to Newshub Dunedin South Countdown reopened at 8am on Wednesday after no new rat sightings overnight.   

"We'd like to thank them for their patience as we've navigated the past couple of weeks," Stockill said.   

"We, along with MPI and Rentokil, are confident the situation has been addressed and while it took longer than anyone wanted, we are happy to have the store open again and our team are excited to be back serving our local community."  

With no rat sightings overnight, the Ministry of Primary Industries has given the all-clear for trading to continue and the store reopened for the first time in 19 days.   

Throughout the entire closure, 20 rats have been captured in the store since Countdown announced it was shutting its doors on February 9.  

NZ Food Safety said once the store reopens, it'll be monitored to ensure food safety.  

The store was set to reopen last Friday but staff found old rat nests behind cladding in the wall cavity to push back the reopening to the weekend.   

But that reopening - on Sunday - was also delayed after a rodent gained entry to the store and triggered a camera sighting.  

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, 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 unaffected either.   

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

A video of the small grey mouse shows it timidly making its way down the aisle, beneath large bottles of shampoo.