Supermarket postpones reopening again as another rat found

A rodent-afflicted retailer has once again postponed reopening its flagship Dunedin store as pests continue to emerge.

Countdown Dunedin South was poised to open yesterday, but a lone rat spotted on a security camera unravelled these plans.

A Countdown spokeswoman confirmed the rat was spotted between Saturday and yesterday morning.

Woolworths New Zealand director of stores Jason Stockill said the store’s reopening had been delayed.

"Rentokil reported a rodent gained entry to the store overnight, triggering a camera sighting", he said.

"We are discussing this with [the Ministry for Primary Industries] and will provide an update on reopening when we can."

What started as a weekend closure has bloated into a more than two-week-long rat hunt.

Since the store announced it would be closing on February 9, at least one rodent had either been caught or seen every two days.

A total of 24 rats have been caught at the supermarket to date, the latest being caught on Thursday.

Mr Stockill previously said the store would remain closed until 48 hours had passed without a rat caught inside.

Last Friday had marked one day since the last recorded rodent sighting and the store had been expected to reopen yesterday.

The store’s doors remained shut yesterday morning.

New Zealand Food Safety deputy director-general Vincent Arbuckle said the agency was continuing to monitor progress at the store and would continue to carry out followup visits.

"We are receiving daily updates from Woolworths and have a food safety officer at the store regularly.

"We continue to be satisfied that Woolworths is taking the matter seriously and is putting in place the right measures to manage the problem at the store, including deep cleaning, maintenance and proactive pest control measures."