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Mystery to rat foot found in baby’s food revealed

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The mystery around how a rat’s foot ended up in a toddler’s mouth has been solved.

The saga began on March 22 when a horrified Kiwi mother discovered her young son was chewing on a rat’s foot.

He had been served Pak’nSave garlic bread and when she alerted the company, it immediately implemented a nation-wide recall.

Shannon Bellman, who hails from Te Awamutu south of Hamilton on New Zealand’s North Island, told the New Zealand Herald at the time that she pulled the rodent’s foot from her 10-month-old son’s mouth while he was eating.

A horrified mother discovered her 10-month-old son was chewing on a rat’s foot. News.com.au

She had purchased the bread from a Pak’nSave in Te Awamutu, which had received a delivery from wholesale distributor French Bakery in Christchurch.

“I saw this poking out of his mouth and grabbed it, I couldn’t believe it,” Ms Bellman said, adding her son had a weakened immune system and suffered an upset stomach after the incident.

She had purchased the bread from a Pak’nSave in Te Awamutu, which had received a delivery from wholesale distributor French Bakery in Christchurch. News.com.au

She claimed the Pak’nSave did not take the incident seriously until images of the rat’s foot were posted on Facebook, although she later received an apologetic call from the company.

The story took a turn today as New Zealand’s regulator revealed the source of the foot was likely the complainant’s home.

The New Zealand Food Safety investigated the incident and found the rat’s foot was raw.

The garlic bread had been cooked twice — as it was manufactured and again in the home.

The garlic bread had been cooked twice — as it was manufactured and again in the home. FomaA – stock.adobe.com

Therefore it was highly unlikely that the foot was introduced into the product while in the commercial supply chain, New Zealand Food Safety stated.

The probe found that the source of the foot was “most likely” the home.

New Zealand Foot Safety deputy director-general Vincent Arbuckle said: “We thoroughly investigated the complaint and can now rule out the manufacturer, distributor, distribution centre and retailer as possible sources of the foot.”

A New Zealand Food Safety probe found that the source of the foot was “most likely” the home.
News.com.au
In 2016 New Zealand’s government began a major effort to exterminate all rats from its islands and has the goal to make the nation rat-free by 2050. Alekss – stock.adobe.com

He added the complaint had been raised in good faith.

The regulator noted that the manufacturer had stringent safety procedures in place.

In 2016 New Zealand’s government began a major effort to exterminate all rats from its islands and has the goal to make the nation rat-free by 2050.


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