January 8, 2019
Giant Rat Dines Off Grocery Store Buffet, Grossing Out Customers

A video of a rat perched on a glass dish full of food in a buffet at a grocery store has gone viral, churning people's stomachs.

The rat was dining on human food and customers who passed by could not believe what they were seeing. It happened at a Food Lover's Market store in Diepkloof, reports the South African. It's crazy to watch the incident unfold and a bit frightening when a man reaches out and begins to shoo away the rat then remove the dish.

People cannot believe what happened and the huge public health risk the critter posed to anyone who possibly ate there that day. The video shows a small common brown rat – blamed for helping spread the bubonic plague long ago. But it's also a huge risk to grocery stores and restaurants because of the risk of salmonellosis that is spread by contaminated rat feces.

In response to the situation, Food Lovers Holdings issued a statement in the hopes of quelling everyone's disgust.

"The Board of Food Lovers Holdings has, having seen the recent video and heard the public response to the state of the Diepkloof store, instructed the franchisee owner to temporarily close the store with immediate effect. This will allow a team of specialists to go to into the store and do a deep clean to ensure that when the store re-opens in about a week's time, it is again clean, hygienic, up to the normal Food Lovers standard and ready to operate at the level we demand of all of our stores, corporate and franchised," the South African shared.

The company insisted that all of its stores in all locations, both corporate and franchise, are treated equally and all must abide by the same cleanliness rules. Where stores do not meet those standards, immediate action is taken to remedy the issues and the store managers or owners are "dealt with severely." In fact, the company utilizes mystery shoppers hired by an independent company to visit and assess their stores. They also are audited by the Health and Safety Division quarterly.

"Where a store falls short of our standards, we work with them to implement immediate remedial action and conduct regular follow up audits," the statement continued.

The company apologized to its customers and said it will revamp and remodel the store to match its newer sites.

The Diepkloof store will remain closed until headquarters is satisfied that the store meets established standards for health and safety.