Rats shock for online grocery shopper and pub diner
Rats have temporarily closed a restaurant and prompted an apology from the UK's biggest grocer following separate brazen mid-winter food sorties.
Beckie Richardson, 19, from Essex, started hyperventilating and collapsed when she found a live rat inside a crate containing her online shopping order from Tesco, according to her mother Sue Richardson.
Mrs Richardson, who was also unloading the crates and rushed to help her daughter, told ITV News: "As Beckie lifted one of [the crates] I heard an almighty crash and she was on the floor.
"I looked in the crate and this rat was just there looking up at us sitting next to the Smarties, eggs and tins."
"My daughter was so traumatised by it that she had a panic attack and fell on the floor and rather than getting away from the rat, I had to look after her."
A Tesco spokesman said: "We take the cleanliness of our stores and delivery vehicles extremely seriously so were concerned to hear of the issue at our Romford Gallows Corner store.
"Although we're confident this is an isolated incident, we've taken immediate action including working with a pest control company and jet washing the area where we store our online deliveries.
"We have visited and apologised to Mrs Richardson, delivered a replacement tray of groceries and offered her some flowers as a gesture of goodwill."
Meanwhile, a Wetherspoons in Trowbridge was closed for 30 minutes last night after a diner complained that a rat ran up a his trouser leg and took a chip from out of his hand.
Wetherspoons apologised for the incident - although said it could not confirm that the rat had made it up a trouser leg - and reassured customers that the problem was "under control" after a visit from pest control.
Reece Coombs, from Trowbridge, was out with his partner Lucy Wrenn, who told the Western Daily Press: "My partner is eating his chips with his meal when a rat ran up his leg, took the chip from his hand and ran off."
Wetherspoons spokesman Eddie Gershon said: "We can confirm that two rats were spotted in the pub last night. We are aware that one of the rats took a chip which had fallen on the floor from a customer's meal, but can't confirm the fact that it ran up a customer's trouser.
"Following the sighting, the pub was closed for 30 minutes and once checks had been made, reopened.
Mr Gershon added: "We are not sure how the rats came into the pub, however that has been some fly tipping in the alley at the rear of the pub and this might have been a factor.
"We aim to uphold the highest standards in our pubs at all times and apologise to customers for this situation. We believe it is now under control."