Loblaws apologizes over viral photo of mouse in bag of bread at a Hamilton No Frills

There was this time about 15 years ago, and I was the scientific advisor for a group of food safety heads at Canadian supermarkets. We’d met once or twice a year, and the first four hours would be devoted to, no one takes my job seriously unless there’s an outbreak.

I could relate.

I guess they kept me on because we did good work when BSE was discovered in Canada in 2003: the only country where beef consumption increased after a mad cow disease warning, partly due to me standing in the snow at 6 am on a Guelph street doing national TV, lots due to Sarah and her team managing the phone lines and providing me with soundbites.

I get the sense Loblaws and its various spin-offs aren’t so vigilant

as they might have been before.

First it was piles of meat thawing in a shopping cart. Now Loblaws is apologizing to customers of a Hamilton No Frills after a photo went viral of a mouse in a bag of bread at the store.

The picture of the tail end of a mouse — visible through the plastic bag surrounding a loaf of D’Italiano bread in a shopping cart — was posted to the website Reddit on Wednesday. The photo had attracted more than 180 comments by the next day.

In a statement, Loblaws public relations director Karen Gumbs apologized to customers — but also assured them the city’s public health department checked out the No Frills location and has “no concerns.”

“The store has taken a number of steps to ensure this doesn’t happen again, including working closely with their third-party pest control team, and inspecting bakery items daily,” she said.

Uh-huh.

Staff at UK food place put food gnawed by mice back on shelves

Martin Elvery of Get West London reports that rat droppings hanging from the ceilings of rooms where fruit and vegetables were stored, products being repackaged and sold after being gnawed by mice and a cement mixer allegedly being used to mix marinated chicken are just some of the horrors Ealing’s food safety officers have uncovered over the past year.

The council carries out thorough, regular checks of all premises serving and selling food in the borough which are categorised for their level of risk on a sliding scale of A to E.

Whilst the vast majority – 82% this year – complied fully with food standards, they have had to take swift action to deal with a few. A report summarising them was presented to the council’s general purpose committee on Tuesday, June 26.

When officers visited food store rooms used to keep fruit and vegetables based at a store in The Green, in Southall, they were found to be riddled with rat droppings.

The report states rat and mouse droppings were found throughout at wall and floor junctions, and on high level shelving. They were also found hanging from the ceiling and on the door leading to the rear store room.

Everyone’s got a camera: Wendy’s in Oklahoma edition

Tristen Land of 6 On the Scene reports a video shared on social media shows a mouse inside a bag of hamburger buns at a Wendy’s restaurant in Catoosa and now corporate is investigating.

Employees say they not only found the mice disturbing but also the cigarettes left on the counters at their sandwich stations. Now they believe something needs to be done.

Especially if the mice were smoking.

“I go in and I see it’s moving around in the bag and you can see like rat feces and all that and it was just disgusting,” said Skylar Frame.

Skylar was at work yesterday when she says she saw mice racing through the buns. She says her coworkers reported it to a manager but were told to continue serving customers.

“I was like what am I supposed to do with the buns and she’s like take the stack, take it down and go use some other buns,” Said fellow employee Samantha Nibbelink.

“There was no stopping, so we had to keep going.” Said employee Vincent Vang.

Today the restaurant was open to customers. Wendy’s sent us this statement, saying in part,

“We immediately launched an investigation with our pest control vendor and internal quality assurance experts to ensure immediate and appropriate action is taken. We have stringent procedures in place to ensure a safe and well-maintained restaurant.”

Uh-huh.

Everyone’s got a camera: Mouse-at-Sonic edition

Drive-through fast food vendor Sonic, known for their creepy television commercials, made the silver screen in a less appetizing way in Corpus Christi, Texas.

sonic-drive-ins-sonic-drive-ins-600-33126According to Jessica Hamilton of the Houston Chronicle, when the Cortez family pulled up to a Sonic Drive-In window on Saturday, they expected to be handed the four drinks they ordered. Instead, they arrived at the window to find their drinks were already being eyed by a furry friend.

In a viral video posted to Facebook, the family can be heard screaming as 14-year-old Christian Cortez records a mouse walking on the fountain drink machine at the Ayers Street location. An employee with a long stick attempts to move the mouse off the machine.

“I was really shocked to see it, especially since it was right next to our drinks,” Cortez said. “Once it went around the fountain machine an employee was still trying to give us our drinks. We told them we wanted a refund.”

The family got their money back.

A spokesperson for Sonic issued a statement Tuesday morning, stating the franchisee at the location has increased pest control measures, including two visits over the weekend.

“The drive-in is currently in good standing with the Health Department and the franchisee takes food safety very seriously. All food safety issues are acted upon immediately,” said Jason Cook, manager of communications for Sonic-In. “They appreciate the trust and confidence customers place in Sonic every day to serve them delicious and safe food. They take pride in being a good community partner and are proud of the service their employees provide to customers every day in Corpus Christi.”

Uh-huh.

Everyone’s got a camera: Australian supermarket duopoly edition

A Brisbane man says he will stop shopping at Coles after he found dozens of tiny insects in a sealed packed of pasta.

Masood Rahimi, 29, said he bought the 500g packet of Coles brand Bowties pasta in New Farm over a week ago.

It wasn’t until he was about to open it on Sunday when a friend noticed something moving around inside.

Mr Rahimi said there were maybe 50 to 100 bugs inside the packet, which he threw away.

He said he made a video of bugs and uploaded it to Coles’ Facebook page but didn’t think it would cause an impact.

At  Woolworths, a mouse was found eating biscuits in the bakery aisle.

South Australian man Mickey Young was shopping at Woolworths Port Lincoln at the weekend when another shopper noticed a mouse eating a biscuit inside a display cabinet in the bakery aisle.

Mr Young, who is a baker himself, began filming the mouse eating the sweet treat before it ran off.

Woolworths has launched an investigation and begun pest control following the sighting.

Australian family find mouse in rice paper roll, welcome police involvement

The family of a woman who says she bit into a dead mouse in a rice paper roll bought at a supermarket say they welcome police involvement because it will prove their innocence.

mouse.rice.paper.roll.dec.14Emilie Petrusic, daughter of Irena Petrusic who got the shock of her life when she found the rodent in the snack bought at Woolworths Broadbeach on Sunday, said the investigation should be treated as a police case because it was serious.

Woolworths and Gold Coast Health have been liaising with police on the matter, which came after Ms Petrusic and her daughter reported the incident to the store immediately.

Gold Coast Health still remain the chief investigators because nothing criminal has been found and no formal complaint made.

A statement by Woolworths on Monday said the mouse entered the product after it left the store, even though that is yet to be confirmed.

Health unit head Dr Paul Van Buynder said their investigation was now focused on how the rodent could have ended up in the roll, with tests taking place on the product in Brisbane.

“What we’re hoping to get from that is does it show signs of being cut up in preparation,” he said.

“This is fresh product so to add something in is really difficult.

“We’re still completing a review of the ingredients — could the mouse have come in with the sliced carrot. We’re making sure it’s not possible to crush a rodent and send it in with the lettuce leaves used.”

Dr Van Buynder said they did not believe there was a problem with the way the food was prepared in store and that was why it was still open.

The investigation was now focused on how the rodent could have ended up in the roll, with tests taking place on the product in Brisbane.

Emilie said they did not care if people did not believe them because those who knew them knew had what happened.

“I don’t know what sick person would do that,” she said.

“A police investigation needs to be done. It’s just like a murder case. If it was a murder case, police would take fingerprints and there’s so much evidence.

“It’s just sad what Woolworths have said, how they’ve gone about it. They’re trying to save themselves.”

A Woolworths spokesman said the company took food safety extremely seriously and the store had been given the all clear to continue making and selling sushi products.

Canadian says McDonald’s coffee contained dead mouse

Ron Morais of Fredericton says he got more than he bargained for when he picked up a cup of coffee from a local McDonald’s restaurant on his way to work.

dead-mouseHe was contendedly sipping his coffee that he got Monday from the Prospect Street location until he got to the bottom of the paper takeout cup.

“I always take the lid off to get my last sip of coffee. And when I took the lid off, there was a little bit of a surprise in my coffee cup. It was a dead mouse,” Morais said.

Morais said that wasn’t all that was in the cup. He said the mouse left “a few little, shall we say, presents” at the bottom of it.

Morais then showed a few of his co-workers what he had found.

“Unless I had been there and seen Ron drink all that coffee down to the last drop, I would have been, like, ‘You’re lying,’” said one colleague, Brad Patterson.

Jennifer LaHaye, another co-worker who saw the mouse, recalls Morais’s reaction.

“’Oh my God, there’s a mouse in my coffee,’ is what he says. I turn around and look at him. The first time I looked, I actually looked and it’s really, he’s not joking,” LaHaye said.

“Like is he OK — and after that, I got green to the gills.”

Jason Patuano, the communications manager for the eastern region for McDonald’s Canada, issued a corporate statement that underscored how seriously the chain takes food safety.

“We take allegations involving cleanliness and sanitation very seriously,” the statement said.

“Upon learning of this situation, the local franchisee immediately began an investigation, including working closely with the local public health authority who conducted an inspection this [Tuesday] morning following receiving a complaint.”

A mouse scampers through Fairway’s olive bins

I don’t buy olives from those open barrels; sure they have enough vinegar and salt to further preserve a drunken sailor – and kill anything – but the idea of leaving them out is microbiologically kinda creepy.

Here’s a video from Grub Street via My Upper West, the second rodent video in a month to emerge from this particular Fairway, and the last one featured a full-grown rat with nothing adorable about it scurrying through the aisles. We’re also informed on good authority that the Red Hook Fairway has birds living inside, “near the yogurt.”

Frenchman finds mouse in can of green beans

Vincent Kluska, a 24-year-old car body worker, found a mouse head in a can of Carrefour brand green beans, while preparing his lunch in Annemasse in the Haute-Savoie, France, reported RTL.

The young man noticed something strange in the pan where he was cooking his beans. "I thought something had fallen into the pan," he said, "I looked closer: it was a mouse head with a mustache and hair and a mutilated body. "

Vincent, very surprised, admits he retched. "I couldn’t believe it, it’s crazy. Sometimes you hear things like that but when it happens to you it’s unbelievable." The young man was still in shock from the strange discovery and couldn’t understand how this mouse head made its way into the can. The surprise was all the more unpleasant because Vincent had already started eating the can of beans the night before. "The worst part is that I didn’t notice anything different. I went at it head down," he said disgusted.

The Carrefour Market in Annemasse (Haute-Savoie) opened an investigation to determine the origin of this foreign body. "Customer service contacted the client to apologize and to thank him for the alert," said the store, adding "Despite the exceptional nature of this situation, to avoid any inconvenience to another client, Carrefour has decided to recall the remaining lot on the market."