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Australind mum and daughter find mouse at bottom of bag of Woolworths rice

Claudette RizziSouth Western Times
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Australind woman Sarah-Jayne Hayward was aghast when her daughter discovered a dead mouse at the bottom of a bag of rice bought from Woolworths
Camera IconAustralind woman Sarah-Jayne Hayward was aghast when her daughter discovered a dead mouse at the bottom of a bag of rice bought from Woolworths Credit: PerthNow

An Australind woman has been left horrified after her daughter discovered a dead mouse at the bottom of a bag of Woolworths rice.

The packet of supermarket-brand microwave rice was one of five bought on January 22 and was within its use-by date.

Sarah-Jayne Hayward, 46, was preparing dinner with her 25-year-old daughter Claudia, who fortunately emptied the contents of the packet into a bowl before heating.

They discovered a grey patch that looked like mould, but upon further inspection it was found to be a mouse.

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“I was horrified and bewildered. It smelt bad but not mouldy and it didn’t even look old,” Ms Hayward said.

Sarah-Jayne Hayward discovered a grey patch that looked like mould.
Camera IconSarah-Jayne Hayward discovered a grey patch that looked like mould. Credit: South Western Times
The pair said they noticed a wet and stale smell coming from the bag.
Camera IconThe pair said they noticed a wet and stale smell coming from the bag. Credit: South Western Times

“There was blood and a stale wet smell coming from the contents.”

Saying it was something “you only hear about” rather than experience, she also revealed her daughter was left nauseous by the incident.

Unsurprisingly, both were put off their food and have been reluctant to eat rice ever since.

Sarah Hayward and her daughter Claudia have been put off their food and have been reluctant to eat rice ever since.
Camera IconSarah Hayward and her daughter Claudia have been put off their food and have been reluctant to eat rice ever since. Credit: Supplied

“She was more sick and I was in shock,” Ms Hayward said. “She started to feel nauseous and visibly reacted and could not eat much for days afterwards.

“I had also bought some Chinese food that night and ending up throwing it out.”

Ms Hayward took the rodent-tinged rice to Woolworths Treendale, which offered a refund without question.

Woolworths eventually offered a refund for the rice.
Camera IconWoolworths eventually offered a refund for the rice. Credit: Mouse in rice
A dead mouse was found in a Woolworths brand Basmati Rice.
Camera IconA dead mouse was found in a Woolworths brand Basmati Rice. Credit: Supplied

The customer service attendant was apologetic and advised Ms Hayward to contact head office to report it.

“Woolworths Treendale were great, but I went on a merry-go-round for days after, trying to find who to contact and report it to Woolworths,” she said.

The packet indicated the food was packed by Woolworths and provided customer service numbers which did not provide specifically for quality control or health and safety concerns.

Ms Hayward got in touch via an automated Woolworths customer service chat and said it was very difficult to get any assistance or reassurance that way.

The packet indicated the food was packed by Woolworths.
Camera IconThe packet indicated the food was packed by Woolworths. Credit: South Western Times

“They don’t make it easy,” she said. “I couldn’t find anywhere to make the query.”

A Woolworths spokesperson said food safety was taken very seriously and that when issues were reported they were promptly investigated.

“We work to understand whether contamination occurred during the production process or after a product was purchased, what safeguards are in place to prevent it happening in future and whether any other packs are likely to be affected,” they said.

“This concerning report is being investigated with our supplier and we apologise to the customer for this experience.”

If customers have concerns with food quality or safety, they can return the product in its packaging to their local store for a full refund and lodge a formal report.

Customers can contact the customer care line to do so.

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