Cobb County

Cobb Co. Kroger reportedly rat infested, one employee allegedly quit after rat jumped on coworker

The Georgia Department of Agriculture said it found a rat infestation at a Cobb County Kroger.

Inspectors from the agriculture department said they noticed rat droppings where products inside the shopping location were stored.

Speaking with Channel 2′s Cobb County Bureau Chief Michele Newell, inspectors said when they went to the Smyrna Kroger location, they immediately noticed unsanitary conditions.

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The inspectors said they found rat droppings in a trailer behind the store and inside a storage room.

Kroger destroyed the contaminated products and hired an exterminator.

One worker told Channel 2 Action News that she quit after a rat jumped on a fellow employee.

“After an incident last week with a co-worker actually having a rat physically jump on them while we were unloading a pallet, that was the final straw for me,” Amber Dent, a former Kroger employee, said.

Dent said she worked at the Kroger on South Atlanta Road in Cobb County for three months.


“It started out as just seeing them in the back stock room,” Dent said. “You could physically see them out on the sales floor at night while we were working, that’s when I knew this is out of control.”

Pictures provided by the Georgia Department of Agriculture showed evidence of rat droppings in a trailer and two pallets that were taken out of it and put in a storage room.

The inspectors called the discovery a rat infestation. After managers didn’t do much to fix the rat problem, Dent said she told the Department of Agriculture about the rats, prompting an investigation.

“The store manager decided to just use household rat traps, which are not going to work,” Dent told Channel 2 Action News.

When inspectors came to the store on Friday, they said they noticed numerous rat droppings in the storage area and trailer, gnawed products and the smell of urine.

The department issued a stop sale on all of the exposed products, and Kroger dumped the items in a landfill on Tuesday.

In a response to questions from Channel 2 Action News, Kroger said the incident was confined and has been resolved in compliance with the Georgia Department of Agriculture.

The products involved in the infestation were stored in an isolated location and not sold in the store, according to a Kroger spokeswoman.

“I’m glad that you all are shining a spotlight on this issue,” Dent said to Channel 2 Action News.

According to records, the last routine inspection of the Kroger location was in 2021. The location didn’t have a certified food protection manager on site.

Inspectors found dust and dirt on retail shelves, two minor violations that inspectors say were resolved.

Two other inspections took place since 2021, including some in 2022 and one as recently as June 2023.

The Georgia Department of Agriculture says inspectors try to do routine inspections at least once a year. However, limited resources can get in the way of that, so it’s best for consumers to contact them if they notice problems inside a store.

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Michele Newell

Michele Newell, WSB-TV

Michele Newell has been part of the WSB-TV family since November 2021. Before moving to Atlanta, Michele worked at TV news stations in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Columbus, Ohio and Steubenville, Ohio.