A mom from England is claiming to have found a live rat trapped inside a sealed packaged of plums she purchased from grocery chain, Aldi.
Salma Riaz said she and her husband, Kamran, purchased the fruit at the store without noticing the rat curled up at the bottom of the unopened container. Kamran said he chose the fruit from the back of the shelf because he thought they would be freshest.
The 32-year-old mother of two told SWNS that seven hours later, she heard scratching coming from their fruit stand.
"I went into the kitchen in the middle of the night and I could hear a rummaging noise,” she said. "I couldn’t see anything but I knew it was coming from the area where the fruit bowl is so I shouted my husband. He came down and couldn’t see anything either and it was only when he was stood looking in the direction of the fruit bowl that he saw the rat's eyes.”
“As soon as we discovered it, I said, 'did the bag not seem heavier or was it not moving inside'?” she added.
The stay-at-home mom said she was “shaken up” by the creepy discovery.
"The fact it was still alive is very worrying to me and confusing. I just couldn't understand how it could still be alive trapped how it was,” she said. “All sorts of things were going through my mind at the time like what would have happened if my daughter had gone for fruit in the morning and found it, she would have been petrified."
The pair returned the fruit, with the rat, to the Aldi supermarket the next day and spoke with the manager, who seemed “shocked” by the rodent, SWNS reports.
In emails from Aldi to Salma, the grocery store said the fruits are all hand-picked in Italy before being placed into the netting machine and then wrapped, weighed and boxed by hand. The package is then stored at minus temperatures during the three-day journey to the UK.
Salma reached out to the Rochdale Council to investigate how the rat was able to get into the package in the first place.
The council disclosed that pet control visited the store and found no issue or violation, and noted that the store received no similar complaints, SWNS reported.
Though the rat was dealt with quickly, Salma said the incident left her so bothered she refused to go into the kitchen for three days.
“Even though I knew the rat had been removed, psychologically it made me uneasy, I felt itchy and was shook,” she said.
Salma said she read about a similar instance from someone who claims to have discovered half a rat inside a bag of frozen vegetables from an Aldi in Cornwall.
“When I read what had happened, I realized this is obviously not a one-off situation like I was led to believe,” she said, believing the rat in her package froze during transportation before waking up in her kitchen. "There is a rodent problem somewhere in the system despite pest control not finding anything.”