Woman finds dead rodent in salad
A WOMAN shopping for her young family had found a whole dead rodent in a bag of packaged salad baby spinach.
Sukhdeep Sandhu was with her nine-year-old daughter at Spudshed at Jandakot in southern Perth, one branch of a Western Australian discount market chain on Sunday.
Mrs Sandhu does not normally buy packaged salad, but decided it would suit her recent change of diet.
The baby spinach came in two sizes, 250g and 500g.
"I was just about to put the 500g bag in my trolley when I saw the dead mouse or rat in the package," she told Fairfax news.
"I felt like vomiting."
Mrs Sandhu asked for the store manager but was referred to a supervisor, who ordered staff to remove all remaining salad bags from the shelves.
The bag of spinach had not been prepared by Spushed, rather it came from an independent supplier.
After apologising, the supervisor offered Mrs Sandhu a 10 per cent discount.
But she said, "it's not about the money ... it's a health issue.
"I never had problems there before."
After Mrs Sandhu a photograph of the dead rodent lying in the spinach bag, producer Supafresh Salads proprietor Troy Cukrov apologised and gave an extensive explanation of what had happened.
He said his business has extensive rodent traps throughout its farms and factory.
"We are a family business that have been growing and processing salads in WA for nearly 20 years," Mr Cukrov posted in his reply, WAToday reported.
"We grow and process over 40 tonnes of baby spinach leaf every week.
"We have every possible inspection and prevention within our process. Our crops are grown in open fields.
"We have rodent traps throughout our farms. We have insect agitators on our harvesters. We have rodent traps throughout our factory.
"We double wash all of our salads. We have inspection belts throughout the factory where the product is inspected during washing.
"We visually inspect during washing. We visually inspect every bag before we pack it. We do everything possible to deliver the cleanest, freshest product practical.
"This is the first time we have ever had a problem like this in a bag of our product in the millions and millions of bags we have supplied throughout Western Australia.
"Unfortunately, we deal in nature and farming is a constant challenge.
"Insect pressure in Western Australia this summer has been the worst I can remember. The challenge to manage all pests has been harder than ever this summer....but we are doing everything practical and trying our very best.
"I have failed in this case and for that we are truly and humbly sorry.
"I apologise unreservedly. I hope that you all understand the challenges that we face in farming in nature and I plead with you to support us and understand.
"Again I apologise and I invite anyone who would like to discuss this personally with me to contact me and I will respond."
Mrs Sandhu said Mr Cukrov's response was helpful, but the fact a rat had made it into the product was "a huge concern".