A Port Elizabeth mother got a little more than she had bargained for in her loaf of brown bread from Checkers – and it has left her feeling rather ratty.
Kara Frost, 36, of Sherwood, got the fright of her life after discovering a live mouse crawling inside a packet of bread she bought from Checkers in Metlife Plaza, Kabega Park, on Thursday evening.
Her daughter Jordan, 12, was the first one to find the rodent when she was about to make sandwiches for the family.
“I was on the phone with a friend when I heard a scream from the kitchen,” Frost said.
She rushed to the kitchen and Jordan told her there was a tail in the bread.
At the same time, the mouse tried to escape from the packet. “We managed to close it before it could get out. I was in absolute shock.”
Frost said the mouse had burrowed into the bread, which is why she had not noticed it at the shop.
“What if we had eaten the first few slices before finding the mouse?”
Frost called on makers Sasko and Checkers to improve their pest control measures.
“What if this were to happen to someone else, such as a 75-year-old woman with heart problems? She could die. Quality control should be improved,” she said.
Frost bought the bread along with about R300 worth of groceries after work on Thursday.
Within minutes of discovering the mouse, Frost contacted the store but was put on hold for 15 minutes.
“Instead of accepting responsibility, Sasko was blamed. [A store manager] said I should bring the bread back to be reimbursed,” she said.
But Frost declined.
“I was supposed to load my three children into the car at 8pm and use petrol to get R10 back.”
On Friday, she was contacted by two other managers who offered an apology, flowers and to reimburse her full grocery bill.
“I do not want refunds or to be bribed. All I want is for them to change the way they do things and take the proper precautions. It is not about the money – it is about the principle,” she said.
Shoprite Checkers spokeswoman Sarita van Wyk said: “Checkers regrets the unpleasant experience Frost had with regard to the alleged mouse she found in a loaf of Sasko bread purchased at its Metlife Plaza branch.
“The matter, as well as the manner in which the sales manager initially handled Frost’s complaint, is being investigated.
“The branch manager has since taken over the matter and has been in contact with Frost, but she has refused all offers of redress.”
Van Wyk said as Sasko was involved, no conclusion as to the origin of the mouse had been reached.
“The matter is currently viewed as an isolated incident,” she said.
Sasko is a milling and baking division of Pioneer Foods.
Pioneer Foods spokeswoman Leanne Koopman said: “Since alerted to the issue, an audit has been done and we conclude that given the current measures in place at Pioneer Foods, it is most unlikely that the source of infestation occurred at our premises or in transit or dispatch to the retailers.”