Photo Credit: Lana Graves
Michelle Hill was about to grab a loaf of bread and hand it to the grocery store cashier Tuesday when she saw it wiggle.
She took a closer look and, with a scream, jumped back — a live mouse was in the bag, munching on a slice of bread.
"It was moving," she said. "It was scary, so gross, oh my God. That wasn't a pretty sight."
Hill said the cashier and another employee at Franco's No Frills store near the corner of Main Street East and Tisdale Street South stood in stunned silence while the customer in front of her grabbed the bag.
She's not sure what became of the bread, or the big-eared bandit that beat her to it.
Before the bag was whisked away, she snapped a picture showing the furry brown mouse happily chomping away and shared it on Facebook with a warning: "Make sure you check your stuff."
That post has since been shared more than 24,000 times, with dozens of commenters chiming in to share her disgust.
Store inspecting bakery items
In a statement to CBC News, Loblaw's public relations said they are taking the matter very seriously and have launched an investigation.
The food retail giant says the store has taken steps to ensure no more mice get at their products including working with a pest control team and inspecting bakery items every day.
Loblaw also says Hamilton Public Health has visited the store and didn't uncover any problems.
"We apologize to our customers for the concern and inconvenience this has caused."
Richard MacDonald, a food safety manager with Hamilton Public Health Services, confirmed an inspector visited the No Frills on Nov. 7 following a complaint about the mouse and found the store to be in compliance with regulations.
The company stated it is also working with its supplier to "determine the source" and will immediately address any issues that arise.
Hill also said Weston Foods, the company that owns the D'Italiano bread brand, has contacted her personally to apologize and offered her a $50 Visa gift card.
Now kids sticking to buns not bread
Hill said she's stopped at the No Frills to pick up a few things three or four times a week for the past 10 years and has never encountered a rodent in her shopping before.
"I don't want to ever see that again," she said. "Yech!"
She was so shocked she didn't even think of speaking to a manager. With four hungry kids waiting at home, she just went back to the bakery and grabbed another loaf.
"Bread is a necessity, bread, milk, cereal, I go through that stuff like crazy," she explained.
This time the bread was mouse-free, but that doesn't mean she'll be back to No Frills.
As she headed home from work Thursday, she passed by the store and drove out of her way to a Food Basics.
As for that second loaf she picked up? She's had a hard time getting her kids to dig in.
Her oldest son was in the middle of making a sandwich yesterday, but elected to leave the loaf on the shelf.
He grabbed a Kaiser roll instead.