BOSSES at a Scots supermarket have shut their in-store bakery following claims rats had been spotted.
Health experts from Fife Council have been called in to the store in Kirkcaldy following customer complaints that rodents were running loose.
Asda have blamed recent heavy rain for the problem, claiming drains have been flooded and rats forced above ground.
Lisa McCann, Fife Council’s lead officer for food and workplace safety, said: “Environmental health officers have undertaken several visits to the premises of the Asda store at Kirkcaldy after we received a number of complaints.“During the visits the environmental health officers inspected both the external and internal areas of the premises for the signs of rodent activity.
“The officers also discussed with the Asda store managers and their pest control contractor, the controls in place and the further preventative measures being taken.“From these discussions we are confident that the business is taking all the reasonable steps.”
She added: “We are continuing to monitor the situation very closely and work with the business involved.”
One customer, who did not wish to be named, claimed: “’Rats are now seen in the warehouse climbing across racking which holds stock, running around the shop floor in all departments.
“They have been sighted in the ceiling above aisles where we are working. We have been told that this is pressure build-up in pipes.
“They have also been sighted in the chill back-up where we keep all our refrigerated items such as cheese, pies, sausage rolls and milk etc.
“At one point, they had to empty the back-up as the rats were taking over and eating everything.”
An Asda insider today confirmed: “Rats were spotted in the backyard so we closed the bakery as a precaution. We hope to be open by the weekend.”
A spokeswoman for Asda said: “The bakery has been closed for a short time as a precaution as part of our investigation into the pest sightings at the store.
“This is purely a precaution – it’s not something we have been asked to do but, as we’ve said previously, we take any reports of pests incredibly seriously.
“The authorities continue to be happy with the action we are taking in-store.”
The incident is just one of a line of pest problems to hit Scottish supermarkets and shops.
In July store bosses at an Asda store in Edinburgh were forced to call in pest controllers after kicking out a cat famed for its mousing talent.
Embarrassed supermarket chiefs admitted that the moggie, named Pixie, who they kicked out a year before – would have sorted out the rodent infestation.
In August pest control experts were called into Jenners in Edinburgh, one of Scotland’s most luxurious stores, after mice were spotted scurrying along the shop corridors.
Councils in Scotland’s four biggest cities receive an average of 16 calls a day from people reporting infestations of the rodents.
Freedom of Information figures show that pest control officers received almost 60,000 reports from 2002 – 2012.