A RAT infestation was discovered at the Ringwood Sainsbury’s store by New Forest District Council inspectors.
Environmental health officers visited the Meeting House Lane outlet in August after they received a complaint about rodent activity there.
A report by inspector Owen McGrath revealed they found an “internal rodent infestation on the shop floor – but mainly on the deli/pizza/fish counters”.
It added: “There were two occasions where food was gnawed by rats.”
As a result the Sainsbury’s store was given a food hygiene rating of one out of five, zero being the lowest score.
Ben Stockley, food and safety team manager with NFDC environmental health, told the A&T: “We visited Sainsbury’s Ringwood in August 2019 following a complaint of rodent activity within the store.
“We worked closely with them to advise on and monitor their response to ensure that the pest issue was resolved.
“Regular checks were carried out to confirm that the company had good food safety procedures in place and that the in-store cleaning and disinfection processes were sufficient to protect the public from any health risks.”
He continued: “The store was allowed to continue to trade after they implemented additional food safety controls, which have been continually reviewed by our team and Sainsbury’s.
“The food hygiene rating score given to the business is in recognition of the issues found at the time of the visits.”
A spokesperson for Sainsbury’s stressed there had been no issues with food hygiene at the store since the problems were highlighted.
He added: “We can reassure customers that we have taken a number of steps to ensure the issues which were raised have been addressed and that the store meets the high standards our customers rightly expect.”