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Health risk for Lidl customers - rat poison in the sales rooms?
According to research by the ARD magazine "Contrasts", rat poison was placed in the sales rooms of some branches of the discount supermarket Lidl without the relevant information or warning from customers and without notifying the health department. Pink and bluish globules are said to have been used in supermarkets to control pests. The substance found in the Lidl supermarket in Berlin was "examined in an accredited test laboratory", with the result that "a significantly toxic effect could be demonstrated in the sample", reports the ARD. The substances could be dangerous not only to rats but also to humans.
Compared to the magazine “Contrasts”, some Lidl employees described “that rat poison would be used in sales rooms in Lower Saxony, Bavaria and Berlin,” according to the current ARD press release. The samples subsequently taken in a Berlin market would have confirmed these statements. A substance that was toxic not only to animals but also to humans was detected. According to the ARD magazine's research, the employees were “instructed to work only with gloves and never to breathe in the powder.” In the worst case, the rat poison can cause severe burns, breathing difficulties or even heart problems. The ARD quotes a Lidl employee with the statement: “Some branches have pink rat poison. It's not that toxic to humans, but the blue stuff, we were told beforehand, if we can get our hands on it, on the respiratory tract, that we'll die, so to speak.
According to the ARD announcement, neither the customers nor the responsible health authority were informed about the use of the rat poison in the Lidl sales rooms. "There were no warnings on the part of the branch management for customers" and although "according to the applicable law Lidl should report an infestation with rats to the local health authority", in the case of the Berlin market, the competent authority said that there was no corresponding notification. ARD reports that the senior health supervisor of the Berlin district of Tempelhof-Schöneberg, Beate Sabally, has explained that the rat poison may pose a life-threatening risk, especially for children can bleed to death. "This is also a reason for the fact that" only recognized pest controlers can put out rat poison ".
Most rat poisoning is now being critically evaluated by the EU authorities, not least because it can also have a fatal effect on other living things. In addition, after poisoning, the animals often suffer relatively long before they die. Since January 2013, the rat poison can only be sold through specialist retailers and should only be used by competent persons - with a proven qualification. Further studies will have to clarify whether this requirement has been met at Lidl. There is also the question of whether the general warning signs against rat baits, with reference to the toxic substances contained and the risk to children, would not have been appropriate here. The discounter Lidl, based in Neckarsulm, replied to a request from ARD magazine with a written statement, in which the company emphasized that the information about "contrasts" was taken very seriously and that the relevant business processes at all levels would be dealt with intensively . "
Another question that consumers ask themselves in view of the ARD report is why rats can be found in the discounter's sales rooms in so many federal states. The fact that control must take place for hygienic reasons as soon as an infestation with the pests is detected remains undisputed. Here, rat poison is unfortunately still the most effective and cheapest method. However, the legal requirements should be observed and only appropriately qualified pest controlers should design the toxic substances. Appropriate warnings for freely accessible rooms seem self-evident here, but obviously not for everyone, as the current case at Lidl shows. (fp)
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