Tesco has come under fire from customers after a swarm of rats was seen scuttling over trolleys at one of its supermarkets.
Shoppers were shocked to see at least five rodents crawling over trolleys – including those used to seat children – in Royston, Hertfordshire.
Customers Andy Carter and Patricia Hepburn claim staff were indifferent when they reported the pests just over a week ago.
Shoppers were shocked to see rats scuttling over trolleys at Tesco in Royston, Hertfordshire
One of the creatures was seen standing on the child’s seat of a trolley in the store’s car park
The couple who took the photos fear the rats sitting where people put their food is a health risk
Mr Carter, 55, from Guilden Morden, Cambridgeshire, said: ‘There used to be a recycling area there but now it’s just turned filthy.
‘People dump stuff there and, I know there are rats everywhere, but Tesco needs to clean up its act. People put their babies in those trolleys.
‘It’s unhygienic and a risk to people’s health to have them at such close quarters.
‘They’ve taken away the rubbish bin at that end of the car park and now there’s litter everywhere, so it’s no surprise the rats thrive.
‘There’s discarded food lying around and the rats love it. I just feel for the mums who have to try and get their kids in the trolleys.
‘What if there was a rat there and someone got bit? There were at least three on the trolley in the short time we were there.’
The couple reported seeing at least five rats in an area which used to house recycling bins
One of the rodents was seen clambering over the top of a trolley for a disabled person
Another shopper said they have reported the matter to the company’s head office.
Tesco said a pest control team carried out a deep clean of the site on the same day as Ms Hepburn took photos.
Mr Carter added: ‘I saw a total of five rats in the vicinity of the store. I expect that to be taken seriously. I didn’t think the staff in store seemed that bothered.
‘At the end of the day, people are putting fresh food in those trolleys and won’t expect them to be contaminated by rats.
‘It’s really off-putting when you turn up and see them running around freely like that.’
A Tesco spokesperson said: ‘We are committed to ensuring that our trolley areas meet the highest standards of cleanliness and are sorry we have not met these on this occasion.
‘We acted immediately to arrange for a pest control company to carry out a thorough inspection and resolve the issue. A full deep clean of our trolleys has also taken place.’
Tesco said a pest control team were brought in to the area the same day the photos were taken