More rats found in Dunedin supermarket

A couple more rats have been found at South Dunedin Woolworths, formerly Countdown, a month after it was cleared.

The supermarket reopened on 28 February after being closed for almost three weeks to eliminate the pests.

New Zealand Food Safety deputy director-general Vincent Arbuckle said two rats had been captured since the store reopened, but it was satisfied that Woolworths had continued to focus on its pest management.

A food compliance officer continued to monitor the pest control efforts during visits to the supermarket, he said.

"It's important to note that given the size and nature of supermarkets, rodents can enter and leave them from time to time," he said.

"Stores generally do not need to close each time, as long as the issue is dealt with promptly and in a way that minimises food safety risk."

He referred questions about any sightings to Woolworths, saying the supermarket managed pest control.

New Zealand Food Safety is investigating the rodent problem.

The issue was first discovered in October 2023 and dozens of rats have been captured since.

The store initially thought they were crawling into the building. But in February, Woolworths said it had found evidence of rats nesting in the supermarket's walls.

Woolworths has been approached for comment.