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  1. ITV Report

Shocked family finds live rat in Tesco online shopping order

A family in Essex had a nasty fright when they received a live rat alongside their online shopping order from Tesco.

Beckie Richardson, 19, started hyperventilating and collapsed when she saw the creature poking around in the packing crate.

An Essex family had a fright when they received a live rat with their online shopping Credit: SWNS

Her mother, Sue Richardson, who was also unloading the crates, rushed to help her.

"As Beckie lifted one of [the crates] I heard an almighty crash and she was on the floor," Mrs Richardson said.

"I looked in the crate and this rat was just there looking up at us sitting next to the Smarties, eggs and tins.

"It was disgusting, I was in complete shock.

"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."

She added that she had "chucked all of the shopping away because you have no idea what is contaminated and what isn't".

The rat was removed by the Tesco delivery driver, but the animals' fate is unknown.

The fate of the rat is unknown Credit: SWNS

Mrs Richardson, who lives with her husband Paul and other daughter Emma in Ongar, said she was a long-standing Tesco shopper but has since swapped supermarkets.

"I have been shopping at Tesco for years and never had a problem but I'll never go back to them after this," she said.

The groceries were delivered from Tesco's Gallows Corner branch in Essex.

Tesco has apologised. A spokesperson for the company 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."

– Tesco