Monday, December 09, 2013

Mightier Than The Sword II

A foreign retail and fast food company in Ghana was as at three weeks ago infested with cockroaches.

Three weeks ago because I haven't been to the shop in three weeks and I am trying to make this report as accurate as possible (just in case the situation has been contained).

A couple of months ago, I went into this shop (I shop there a lot. makes sense after all their tagline does boast of them having the lowest prices) to buy drinks. On the drinks aisle, I saw a couple of cockroaches on the shelves. For some reason I wrote this off. I guess mainly because I felt all the drinks are sealed (as if the Berlin Wall separates the drinks aisle from the cooked food).

A couple of weeks after that, again in the drinks aisle, I saw some cockroaches and wrote that off as well. The only thought I had in my head was "ewwwwww... yuck!". Then a week later, I'm buying apples in this shop and there, on the floor, I see some cockroaches. For some reason I think that's okay since the cockroaches weren't on the apples. Besides, in my head, apples can be washed before eating. Sad thing is the apples are not too far from the cooked food.

Three weeks ago, I walk into this same shop with a friend and he wants to check out the pastries. We move to the baked food section and my friend taps me on the shoulder and points at something. I look, and there, on what I'd like to call a doughnut (not sure exactly what it is) with chocolate topping was a cockroach frolicking in the chocolate. My first instinct was to scream "Cockroach! Cockroach!", but I didn't give in to my first instinct. Last thing I wanted was to start a panic and possibly a stampede (I could get hurt in that). So, I calmly call one of the attendants in the baked food section and I draw her attention to what I'd just seen. She takes the tray on which the cockroach was on out of the display case and I walk away. Too disgusted to get any pastries, my friend and I make our way to the drinks aisle where I tell another shop attendant what I'd just seen. He then goes like "Hmmmmm... These cockroaches. We sprayed the shop not too long ago too".
"What? You sprayed the shop with all the food in it? You sprayed the shop with everything still in it? What stopped the cockroaches from going to hide behind some appliance or inside some suitcase?" - that was me thinking inside my head.

My friend and I get our drinks and leave the shop. Outside the shop, we bump into another friend, tell her what we'd just seen, and she tells us how she bought two glass jars from this shop, gets home, takes them out of their packaging only for one to fall apart. Apparently it was so cracked and the only thing holding it together was its packaging. Then she tells us of how she once went into this same shop to buy cheese only for her to realise the type of cheese she wanted was mouldy (and this was early in the morning). She asks if I got pictures, and me of all people who likes to drive and take pictures had none.

I went back into the shop determined to get some pictures, and fortunately, I didn't have to make it all the way to the baked food section (I was still traumatised from the first time). I got on camera a cockroach snacking (I guess) on a bruised apple. Just to show the cockroach was not dead, I took a video, which shows the antennae of the cockroach moving periodically. I looked for and showed the pictures to a manager on duty in the shop at the time.

To anyone who thinks I'm making a big fuss about nothing, well...,
"Cockroaches are nocturnal insects. They prefer to live and feed in the dark, so a cockroach seen during the day is a possible sign of infestation". Mind you, this shop is very brightly lit and it even has air conditioning on all the time it's open.
"Aside the disgust felt at encountering cockroaches, they can trigger allergic reactions and asthma attacks in humans. Cockroaches are capable of mechanically transmitting disease organisms such as the bacteria that cause food poisoning, and are known to spread 33 different kinds of bacteria, six parasitic worms and at least seven other kinds of human pathogens." "Cockroaches carry diseases such as salmonella and diphtheria and cause symptoms of abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. Cockroaches pose a risk to health as a matter of hygiene." - picked this from some websites.

This retail and fast food company sells cooked food, baked food, processed and packaged foods, kitchen ware, hardware, appliances, cosmetics, toiletry, toys and a variety of other things. The company does not originate from Ghana and I recently had the opportunity to visit the country this company originated from (this was after my discovery of the cockroach infestation). My curiosity (because I didn't buy anything there during my visit) had me visiting one of the shops in this originating country and I saw not a single cockroach (maybe cockroaches don't exist in that country).

The company I believe has three of its shops in Accra with the latest one barely a month old. I discovered the infestation in its very first shop set up in Ghana. I have since my last visit there three weeks ago not been to this particular shop. For love of my life, I chose last week to try out its less than a month old shop in Accra. I would much rather shop there until cockroaches discover there, then I'll move elsewhere. Hopefully, they don't transfer stuff from their first shop to this new one.

P.S. I left out the pictures. The story alone disgusts me enough without having to see the pictures. I deliberately left out the name of the company, but I'm sure anyone who knows it will get it from my description. The pictures will be too clear a giveaway of which company it is. I'm still thinking about whether or not to use them. For now, the pictures together with the video are in a safe place (almost sounds like I'm hiding something from the mafia :D).

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