Video shows mouse eating meat at Columbus Circle Whole Foods

COLUMBUS CIRCLE, Manhattan (WABC) -- A Whole Foods customer made a shocking discovery when she found a mouse nibbling on food in the meat section at the Manhattan grocery store.

The incident happened Sunday at the store's Columbus Circle location.

Brittany Ellis and her mother were shopping and decided to stop by the butcher station to take a break to answer a phone call.

"Next thing I know a lady behind us is like, 'Oh, that's disgusting,'" she said. "So then that's when I look closer and I just see a nice little, tiny mouse just chewing away like nothing, and I'm shocked."

Ellis said her mother didn't believe her, so she decided to take a video of it.

"She don't believe me, you know, so that's what I'm trying to get a worker, but nobody seemed to be attentive," Ellis said. "I decided to record it because nobody would believe me, unless there was video proof."

The video was then posted on TikTok by Ellis and it took off.

"I didn't even think it was gonna hit like a million views," she said. "I don't even think it was gonna hit like 1,000 views. I thought that every day it's first TikTok, like I'm not on TikTok that much. I just joined it, like I didn't think it was going to do what it did."

Ellis said she tried to get the attention of employees at Whole Foods.

"Eventually, I first tried to hit up two associates that were like in the produce section because the butchers been busy when they didn't respond," she said. "We eventually waited for the butcher to let him know. He thought we were going (to) purchase meat at first, I was like no, I don't think you want to put your hand back in there because there's a mouse that could bite you or you know, health reasons I don't know what it could do. It's busy eating, it might think your food."

After Ellis let the butcher know, he was even confused about the situation.

"He's like, 'There's no way,' and then he looks in the cage and he sees and he's like, 'Oh my God, this is crazy,'" she said. "So yeah, eventually his manager did come out. We did speak to the manager, but it was more of a like a nonchalant, not like kind of a let me get your information, let you know this is happening or no kind of transfer kind of situation."

Ellis said she didn't end up buying groceries that day.

When asked if she would return to the store, Ellis said she wouldn't go back, but isn't saying she hates the company.

"Something has to be done because people could potentially be sick now," she said. "Makes me think my mom did go shopping there the week before without me. Could she have gotten sick? It now brings health concerns. I don't want to step foot in until I know something more has been done, then just, 'We got rid of it.' So they say it was a baby. Babies have family. Where there's one, there could be more."

Whole Foods released a statement on the incident.

"We take this situation very seriously. We immediately removed and disposed of all products in the case, performed a deep cleaning, and brought in a third party service for a thorough inspection. The store diligently followed our detailed protocol in response and continues to work closely with our food safety team."

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