Valley dad says he found maggots in hat at local Wal-Mart

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By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

PHOENIX -- A Valley father says while he and his wife were shopping for winter caps for their baby at Wal-Mart, they discovered maggots crawling all over one of the pieces of clothing.

Brent Fenton took his family shopping at the Wal-Mart on Happy Valley Road near Interstate 17 Wednesday to pick up items for an upcoming trip to the family’s cabin in the northern part of the state.

Fenton says he and his wife tried a few beanies on their 11-month-old son, Bentley, and placed two of them in the shopping cart.

Fenton says as he and his wife were walking away, he noticed something crawling on his son’s shirt.

“There was a maggot crawling on my son’s shirt,” Fenton says. “I was in shock! I was like, 'Are you kidding me? Where did this maggot come from?’ ”

Fenton says his wife picked his son up out of the shopping cart and discovered five or six more maggots in the baby’s lap.

While his wife raced the baby to the restroom, Fenton says he started looking around to try to find the source of the larvae.

“I was like, ‘Let me check this hat,’ ” Fenton says. “I grabbed the hat, flipped it inside out, and when I flipped it inside out, they were all over the inside of the hat.”

Fenton says he talked to a manager: “I pointed and I was like, 'There’s some right there on the floor,' and she was like, ‘Oh my gosh!’ ”

Fenton says he demanded someone clear the rest of the beanie caps from the rack, concerned others could have bugs on them as well. Maintenance came a few minutes later to remove the hats, and Fenton says he filed a formal complaint with the company.

A Wal-Mart spokesperson issued the following response Friday afternoon: “A clean and safe shopping experience for our customers is a commitment that we take very seriously. The item was removed from the shelf and we shared the customer’s feedback with the supplier of this product. Wal-Mart has brought in a third-party pest control vendor to inspect the area and they found no signs of pest problems or issues whatsoever.”

Fenton says he wants the company to re-evaluate its cleanliness policies.