Woman finds mouse poop in Price Walmart pizza, prompting health department inspection
Dec 12, 2022, 7:15 PM | Updated: 7:21 pm
PRICE, Utah — An Emery County woman is sharing about how she discovered mouse droppings and evidence the rodents dug into a deli pizza she bought from the Walmart in Price Sunday.
It led to a visit from the health department, as they now explain why there’s nothing more to investigate.
Alysa Potter lives over 20 minutes outside Price, in a small, rural town. She explained how the Walmart in Price is one of the few large retailers for residents in the whole area, and one her family relies on for groceries.
On Monday, fresh from a weekend grocery trip, Potter offered up a banana as a snack for her two young daughters. Before slicing the fruit and setting it on the table, she made sure it was all good to go.
“Yes, for sure. We went through all of it and washed it all,” she said.
Potter explained the food inspection was necessary after they purchased just under $300 worth of groceries at the Walmart in Price. That included three fresh take-and-bake style deli pizzas to heat up for dinner.
She walked outside to her front porch on Monday afternoon, where the pizzas sat in the cold, ready to feed to the dumpster. Lifting up the lid on the top box, Potter pointed to tiny dark nuggets and munched-through plastic her husband found right before dinner Sunday.
“He’s like, ‘Unless you want mouse with your pizza, I don’t think we’re having that for dinner,’” Potter recounted of what her husband said.
She pulled all the groceries out of the fridge to look everything over, but found no other evidence of rodents. Then she called Walmart and posted to friends on Facebook. It led to several comments from people who shop at the same Walmart.
“What scared me was the amount of people saying that they’ve also seen… there were some comments saying that their stuff also looked like it had been eaten at, and then a lot of people said that they’ve seen mice running around,” Potter said.
The manager she spoke to Sunday was apologetic and promised to get on things right away and offered her a refund.
Monday morning, Potter also called the Southeast Utah Health Department, and they were quick to scurry over to the retailer for an inspection.
“The store had already started responding to the incident, cleaning and sanitizing the display case where the suspected food came from,” said Brandon Pierce, environmental health scientist at the Southeast Utah Health Department.
He explained their inspection of the store turned up no evidence of an infestation. He said they’re not sure if this was a single incidence of a mouse getting inside, or a stow away that came in on a delivery.
They talked with Walmart about the pest management plan that’s already in place. Pierce said the store contracts with a company. They suggested the store remove some old and discarded food items that they found on the ground in the bakery and storage areas.
“They’re doing everything they can on their end to prevent this kind of thing,” Pierce said. “Unfortunately, sometimes these things can happen.”
He said most places are concerned about people’s health and safety. Pierce urged residents to report any issues they see or experience by giving the Southeast Utah Health Department a call or report through their website.
Despite the comments left on Potter’s Facebook post, the health department has received no other complaints at that Walmart. The last inspection, which was in late August, turned up no violations or concerns about rodents.
Because they’ve received no other official mice sightings, and because Walmart was quick to respond, the situation is considered resolved.
Potter hopes this is serving up a reminder to double check what you’re buying, and report anything out of the ordinary.
“If you see something, say something,” she said.
After a thorough inspection and cleaning, they kept the rest of their groceries. Potter said Walmart has offered to refund her entire bill. She expressed that she was more concerned about other people getting food potentially infected from mice.
“Hopefully they can get it taken care of, really send some professionals in,” she said.