Warning: Rats In The Walmart!

Rats! In the Walmart! New York City may have more than its share of rodents, but one pest we don’t have is Walmart…which is why for this rat infestation report we’ll be traveling all the way to sunny Phoenix! From KTAR:

A health inspector said he found mouse droppings at a Valley Wal-Mart on Monday after shoppers reported seeing rodents in a bakery case.

Three customers at the Wal-Mart near 16th Avenue and Bethany Home Road said they saw at least three mice scurrying around inside a doughnut case.

Ashley Seeba snapped a picture of one rodent with her cell phone.

“It made me sick. I could have gotten physically ill and it is just disturbing to know that a large corporation like Wal-Mart doesn’t even have high enough standards to keep rats out of their building,” Seeba said.

The shoppers who witnessed the rats said the Walmart manager would not let them file a complaint. Walmart has responded to the report via a statement sent to CBS 5 News:

“Food safety is a top priority for us, and we take this allegation quite seriously and are thoroughly investigating it.”

“In an abundance of caution we have sanitized and cleaned the bakery area and have scheduled additional pest control. We also immediately discarded all bakery product in the case in question”

In other news, Walmart sells donuts?—MEGHANN MARCO

Mouse Droppings Found in Wal-Mart Bakery [KTAR](Thanks, Dan!)

Comments

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  1. Stepehn Colbert says:

    obviously this can be explained as the rat keeping irregular hours, and upset over his missing overtime check.

  2. mantari says:

    Well, as long as the rat wasn’t fried, and covered with sprinkles, then I am fine with this.

  3. faust1200 says:

    What’s with the surge of blue arrows in the photographs? Lately, Consumerist photos have gone from nearly non-applicable to over-descriptive. I’m not complaining. I am merely curious ;) I mean I appreciate you pointing out the rodent from the donut but I sort of miss the old word-association, stream-of-consciousness photos.

  4. Stepehn Colbert says:

    @faust1200: honestly, i donno if i would have known that was a donut if the arrow wasnt there.

  5. raceroh says:

    Well after a hearty meal of the colonels best what better way to top off the night.

  6. isadora says:

    I’m never eating a donut from a case like that again. Thank you for that.

  7. healthdog says:

    It shows an “abundance of caution” to clean a case after someone photographed a rodent in said case? I mean, I understand that Walmart normally doesn’t clean *anything*, but c’mon.

    I also enjoy how they note that all product from “the case in question” was trashed. The case full of cookies next to that particular case, however, is fair game. Mmmm…now with chocolate sprinkles!

  8. Marce says:

    Mice aren’t rats. I’m wondering how the article goes from mouse droppings to the witness saying she saw rats. Mixing up species much? (Looks like a mouse in the photo.)

  9. jgodsey says:

    of course all of this could be avoided if corporations would just employ cats on their staff.
    why do you think bookstores keep cats? rodents eat paper, cardboard and glue and cats keep the rodents at bay.

  10. Stepehn Colbert says:

    @Marce: mice and rats it seems.

  11. agdTinMan says:

    @faust1200: Someone definitely needs to lay off the blue bevel/emboss feature.

    Does Gawker need a graphic designer?

  12. Bay State Darren says:

    I just can’t wait for the “You guys are blowing this all out of proportion/this was obviously the consumer’s own fault” post in this thread like there seems to be in every other one. (Although I wouldn’t be suprised if Wal-Mart a secret Consumerist memebership to do damage control with.)

  13. nequam says:

    If I don’t shop at Walmart because I prefer to avoid rodent feces on my crullers, does that make me a “conscientious objector”?

  14. Havok154 says:

    You guys are blowing this all out of proportion! That’s obviously a cinnamon roll, not a donut.

  15. Nicholai says:

    “disturbing to know that a large corporation like Wal-Mart doesn’t even have high enough standards”

    Standards? What standards?! Wait…. wal-mart has a bakery?!

    The linked KTAR article says “The shoppers said Wal-Mart managers would not let them file a complaint”
    Wow, that worker had alot of nerve.

  16. ptkdude says:

    $10 says consumerist.com receives a cease and decist letter from Wal-Mart’s lawyers for posting the company’s intellectual property (i.e. photo of company product and “employee”) without the company’s permission.

  17. Bay State Darren says:

    Worker probably didn’t know how to file a complaint.

  18. Michael Bauser says:

    You know, the NYC Walmart wouldn’t have a rat problem at all, if it would just get a snake like the Walmarts down south.

  19. Chris says:

    1. It is at least possible that a “customer” put a couple mice into that cabinet. That sort of thing isn’t exactly unprecedented. Didn’t someone cram a finger into some chili or something?

    2. I’m no rodent expert, but do mice come out into brightly-lit food cases during daytime?

    3. “The shoppers said Wal-Mart managers would not let them file a complaint.” I have no idea what this even means – the manager obviously heard their complaints, and they were able to “file” something with the health commissioner, so who cares if the can’t “file a complaint” in some mystical Wal-Mart complaint box.

  20. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    Those ain’t sprinkles, folks.

  21. EvilTapioca says:

    What with these stores being so filthy? Maybe it’s just were I live but I’ve yet to see a disgusting grocery store or Wal-Mart. One the other hand the nasty fast food places make up for it. :(

  22. ZonzoMaster says:

    Now with a free “pet” inside, even cheaper than the pet store probably.

  23. FLConsumer says:

    Just being inside a Mal-Wart store is enough to make me sick. Between the circus-freak workers to the white trash clientèle (substitute “white trash” for the predominant lower-income group living closest to that particular store) to the inches of dirt and grime which cover the floors, walls, and ceilings of their stores, and only 1-3 out of 40+ checkout lanes open, I see no reason to give them my business.

    Quality, *NOT* price, is what wins my loyalty and dollars.

    @EvilTapioca: C’mon down to Florida. I’d say you have a 50/50 shot of the Mal-Wart store being absolutely filthy depending on the location. I’ve yet to be inside one of their stores which has the mirror-finish clean of most Target stores I’ve been to. Not that I care for Target all that much either, but at least they’re clean and have plenty of service people available.

  24. Why do you all hate America so much!?

    Dont you know that walmart is as american as apple pie??

  25. AcilletaM says:

    OK, what we really want to know is this: Was it wearing the Nazi shirt?

  26. Havok154 says:

    @EvilTapioca:
    I have yet to see a walmart that isn’t horribly disgusting. Like FLConsumer said, every walmart I’ve been in is the place to go for any low-income residents around, and the stores show it. Go to a slightly higher scale store like Target, and it’s about 200x’s cleaner and nicer to be in.

  27. OnceWasCool says:

    I agree that Walmart is for the low income since most of what they sell is made by the poor or slave labor. However, this is America and even our “White trash” deserves not to have rats on their food.

  28. mac-phisto says:

    what’s the big deal? the pet aisle manager was fired & stocking staff was downsized the week prior. the mouse got hungry b/c the cart-pushers are in charge of feeding now (& we all know how serious they take their jobs), so it decided to hit some buffet action. i mean come on, he’s clearly motioning a i’m sorry, were you gonna eat that? in the photo.

  29. Chairman-Meow says:

    “Food safety is a top priority for us, and we take this allegation quite seriously and are thoroughly investigating it.”

    Ugh, I am sooo sick of this boilerplate coming from corporate America. Who in the hell do they think they are fooling these days ?

    If Food Safety is such a priority, then why didn’t they already take care of the mouse problem ? Its not like the rodents walked in the front door, got their little stickers then decided to infest the bakery. Rodents, like any other vermin, take time to infest an area. I’m sure if you asked every employee in the area, they likely all knew about the problem for some time. I also bet that the employees complained to management who did nothing to correct the problem.

    As for the “serious investingation”, let’s just translate this into “we got caught”.

  30. bhall03 says:

    Whew, that’s a relief…they “discarded all bakery product in the case in question.” Good thing those rats and mice can’t walk around to other cases!?!

  31. cindel says:

    I’m waiting for the “Rats at Consumerist”. You know you got some!

  32. virgilstar says:

    Havoc154 – yeah, just keep telling yourself Target is better than WalMart! They’re all big boxes; they all shill cheap chinese-made crap to obese Americans who know no better. Target just does it with a bit of “design” flair mixed in. That doesn’t make it any better, or likely to be free of rodents.

  33. Youthier says:

    @virgilstar: Yeah but 90% of the Targets I’ve been in are clean compared to the 80% of Wal-Marts I’ve been in that aren’t. I want my cheap crap sterile, thanks.

  34. segfault, registered cat offender says:

    @jgodsey:
    why do you think bookstores keep cats?

    So their shoes get pooped in? Another thing cats are good for.

  35. mopar_man says:

    So their shoes get pooped in? Another thing cats are good for.

    If you say so. I’ve had 4 cats and none of them have ever done that. I’ve also had several friends and relatives who have had cats without that problem. Maybe your cat just hated you.

    As for the rats, totally disgusting but I’m not surprised that it happened at Wal-Mart. Making money is their top priority. Paying for stuff like cleaning supplies and pest control is low on their list.

  36. mantari says:

    @Chris: Good job blaming the customers on this one!

    1] Clearly, any reports of rodents by customers should be treated with some skepticism! It is entirely possible that someone could have planted them. Perhaps the person who took the photo! And the mouse droppings that the health inspector found were merely a courtesy detail!

    2] Yes. Rodents come out into the daylight. Remember the rats in KFC/Taco Bell in New York City? Yeah. They came out in daylight, too.

    3] You may not know what it means, but I do. They went to customer service, and were told, “I want to file a complaint about the rodents in the donut case!” The employee got a manager. The manager said that they weren’t going to let the employee file a complaint with Wal-Mart. (It creates an audit trail… audit trails help prevent feces from being sweeped under the rug.)

    On #3, too bad for Wal-Mart. If they had looked like they weren’t covering things up, maybe their customers wouldn’t have run to the health inspector for relief.

  37. thisiskspraydad says:

    Who the hell buys a donut at Walmart?

    That’s what Tim Horton’s is for.

  38. timmus says:

    “Food safety is a top priority for us, and we take this allegation quite seriously and are thoroughly investigating it.”

    Ugh, I am sooo sick of this boilerplate coming from corporate America. Who in the hell do they think they are fooling these days ?

    Amen. I wish the media would stop giving them soapboxes for their boilerplate drivel. Quote what they’re doing, but why do we constantly have to hear the spiel about their corporate agenda? Journalists, are you listening?

  39. BMR says:

    and they did not even have the decency to apologize for any inconvenience the rat may have caused.

  40. SpyMaster says:

    What’s the big deal? Haven’t you ever wondered where those weird-tasting sprinkles on the top of your bakery rolls really come from? This is what’s known as “The Baker’s Secret.”

  41. royal72 says:

    where the hell is heather mills to defend the poor rat’s right to a meal?!

  42. DesertFox82 says:

    I’m not one to defend a rat-infested big-box, but since I’m fighting with a mouse in my pantry right now, some of the allegations here aren’t fair.

    First, I keep my house very clean, thank you, and I still get mice from time to time. Mine come in for the warmth and not because of filth. Mice create filth, but don’t seek it out when looking for a residence. There were enough small nooks for my mouse to hide his presence for what must have been a week before I found him, in a room I’m in everyday. I can only imagine the hidy-holes to be found in a bix-box warehouse. And isn’t NY known for it’s rats?

    Now, periodic inspection is a must for food stores, and clearly something went wrong at this Wal-Mart. And like you guys, I’m not sure what “didn’t allow the customers to file complaints” means. But a store doesn’t have to have sub-par sanitary conditions to attract mice; only warmth, a quiet place to breed, and a spot away from predators.

    Heck, most homes probably have a few in the walls that never venture into the home; they forage in your yard and only sleep in your walls. Sleep and … well … you know.

  43. Wow. Look at all this snark. Just one right after another. Bless the consumerist. Nonstop action.

  44. ExVee says:

    Only Supercenter Wal-Marts have fresh(-ish) donuts, since unlike the little guys, only they have the in-house bakery. And aside from the photographic evidence, this is not an isolated situation. Most any Wal-Mart you go into will have behind the scenes traps that are rarely inactive. Even the one I work at it’s a well known fact among the employees that there is a current mouse or possibly rat population that they’re struggling to keep under control. It’s not common knowledge among the customers, largely because nobody’s happened upon one scurrying about any of the fresh food cases nor taken relevant photos. Once I was even asked to check under the shelves to see if a certain odor was originated with a dead rodent. As it turns out, that was not the case. But I think that it speaks volumes to management’s awareness of the situation that the possibility would be strong enough in their minds to even ask the question. This is just publicity of a problem that has existed quietly for a long time. Might make you think twice about eating any unpackaged food from your local Supercenter, eh?

  45. ahwannabe says:

    The rat was just getting his morning donut. Maybe we’d better investigate Starbucks next. He’s got to get coffee somewhere.

  46. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    @ahwannabe: Mmmmm…triple chocolate half-decaf rat-mocha…..

  47. TinaB says:

    Aww that rat was just angry since they closed all the Krispy Kremes around here! And as for Tim Horton’s, don’t have ‘em. Here in AZ we’re down to grocery stores or Dunkin Donuts.

    Anyway, I used to live right down the street from said Wal-Mart, and can vouch that it’s disgusting. First off, it’s attached to a really crappy mall, and second it’s in the ghetto. So glad there’s a Target just a few miles away!

  48. Bay State Darren says:

    @Chris: “It is at least possible that a “customer” put a couple mice into that cabinet…I’m no rodent expert, but do mice come out into brightly-lit food cases during daytime?” etc.

    I called it!

    @Me (further up the thread):”I just can’t wait for the “You guys are blowing this all out of proportion/this was obviously the consumer’s own fault” post in this thread like there seems to be in every other one. (Although I wouldn’t be suprised if Wal-Mart a secret Consumerist memebership to do damage control with.)”

  49. darrwest says:

    Living near the Wal-Mart (but not shopping at) in question, I know that there have been several complaints already lodged about rodents being found in the store. The store is located in a mall that has construction taking place about 400 yards away. They claim that this is causing the rodents to move into the store. Yet at the same time, there is a Costco in the same mall, and so close to the construction that you can touch their wall with one hand, and construction equipment with the other. Amazingly enough, NO RODENTS in their store. Also should mention, there are also no dirty ailes, no food items in areas that they shouldn’t be in, and employees that seem to be happy when they are working.