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Tue Jun 24, 2014, 10:16 PM

At WalMart, food safety is their #1 priority. Ha ha ha ha ha! GOT you, sucker. Enjoy your beef.



I just went to the customer service area in WalMart and spied one of those shopping carts full of stuff that needs to go back on the shelves. In this one you can see what looks like a 2 pound "chub" of ground beef, plus a package of stew beef. When I moved up in the line I also saw a package of hot dogs. It is 101 degrees here right now and that meat is sitting in a shopping cart at room temperature.

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Reply At WalMart, food safety is their #1 priority. Ha ha ha ha ha! GOT you, sucker. Enjoy your beef. (Original post)
Miles Archer Jun 2014 OP
hatrack Jun 2014 #1
Shampoobra Jun 2014 #2
Scuba Jun 2014 #3
Agschmid Jun 2014 #7
NightWatcher Jun 2014 #9
MineralMan Jun 2014 #11
Shampoobra Jun 2014 #24
uppityperson Jun 2014 #25
Shampoobra Jun 2014 #31
Sherman A1 Jun 2014 #13
elias49 Jun 2014 #14
frankieallen Jun 2014 #16
MineralMan Jun 2014 #20
pinboy3niner Jun 2014 #21
MineralMan Jun 2014 #23
Ikonoklast Jun 2014 #40
uppityperson Jun 2014 #17
TBF Jun 2014 #18
bluesbassman Jun 2014 #19
iwillalwayswonderwhy Jun 2014 #29
upaloopa Jun 2014 #30
sabbat hunter Jun 2014 #32
bunnies Jun 2014 #33
KurtNYC Jun 2014 #4
Miles Archer Jun 2014 #5
KurtNYC Jun 2014 #6
Hassin Bin Sober Jun 2014 #10
KurtNYC Jun 2014 #15
laundry_queen Jun 2014 #38
Miles Archer Jun 2014 #26
bunnies Jun 2014 #35
Ikonoklast Jun 2014 #41
panader0 Jun 2014 #22
NM_Birder Jun 2014 #8
Miles Archer Jun 2014 #27
elias49 Jun 2014 #12
dballance Jun 2014 #28
Miles Archer Jun 2014 #36
bunnies Jun 2014 #34
maced666 Jun 2014 #37
Miles Archer Jun 2014 #39

Response to Miles Archer (Original post)

Tue Jun 24, 2014, 10:21 PM

1. Those pesky employees! Never around when you need one - and then you have to PAY them!

Wal-Mart - where the customer is always

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Response to Miles Archer (Original post)

Wed Jun 25, 2014, 03:48 AM

2. I take it you've never worked in a corporate grocery store

(For the record, I hate Walmart. This is not meant to sound like "everyone does it," like I'm defending Walmart. I'm not.)

When a freezer breaks in a grocery store, the contents melt. When the freezer is fixed, the contents re-freeze. If the freezer needs to be replaced, all that food can sit at room temperature for two days or more. Eventually, the problem gets fixed, and the inventory is re-frozen, and the customer has no reason to suspect anything. (After all, the "sell by" date is the only information at the customer's disposal.)

A call to the county health department is pointless. Since it's not a restaurant, the caller is told to contact corporate and explain his concerns to them.

Food is often (meaning, almost daily) purchased from anonymous sellers at the back loading dock, at prices far below wholesale. No one wants to know where it was stolen from, or how it has been handled in the time since it was stolen to the day it was purchased by the store.

Shoplifters are sometimes dragged behind the store's trash compactor and given a choice: take a severe beating from four or five shelf stockers, then be allowed to go free; or skip the beating, and let the police get involved. The shoplifter will usually choose the beating.

Working at a corporate grocery store is like working for criminals. On second thought, they're not like criminals, they're literally criminals.

A lot of people seem to think that because food is involved, the grocery industry is clean. The reality is, the industry attracts sociopaths because no sane person can continue working in such a place for very long.

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Response to Shampoobra (Reply #2)

Wed Jun 25, 2014, 06:22 AM

3. My daughter works in a large retail chain that includes grocery. They toss ...

 

... any and all chilled and frozen foods following a freezer outage. So they're not all alike.

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Response to Shampoobra (Reply #2)

Wed Jun 25, 2014, 02:24 PM

7. Your post is quite a disconnect from reality is most places.

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Response to Shampoobra (Reply #2)

Wed Jun 25, 2014, 02:29 PM

9. I worked a job in loss prevention and we rarely beat anyone

And by rarely, I mean it never happened.

I did see the movie Casino where they did something like that.

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Response to Shampoobra (Reply #2)

Wed Jun 25, 2014, 02:33 PM

11. I call bullshit on your post.

I've never seen any of those practices at any chain supermarket. Document your claims, please, with examples.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #11)

Wed Jun 25, 2014, 05:38 PM

24. If it's all right with you, I'll send you as many details as I can via DU Mail

To do so here in the forum would be to give out personal details that I don't want made public. (It's for the same reason that my DU profile states "Puget Sound region" instead of the precise city I live in.) I've read enough of your posts that I feel I can trust you with these personal details.

As to what I've revealed so far: I wouldn't have believed it before I worked there, and I'm sure the reason it happens is because no one believes it could happen.

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Response to Shampoobra (Reply #24)

Wed Jun 25, 2014, 05:43 PM

25. Which corporate store? You don't need to name the town, but which corporate store?

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Response to uppityperson (Reply #25)

Wed Jun 25, 2014, 06:15 PM

31. Link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Top_foods

Wikipedia redirected my search for "Top Foods" to "Haggen Food & Pharmacy" and I see that it's listed as an "independent grocery retailer" with 30 stores. I don't know if being "independent" means it's not corporate, so if I misidentified the nature of this chain, I apologize.

But there's so much more that happened in that chain than I even went into with my above post. All I set out to do last night was write about the constant food spoilage I witnessed firsthand, but I kept remembering more and more of the illegal things they did (and expected employees to do) while I was there.

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Response to Shampoobra (Reply #2)

Wed Jun 25, 2014, 02:40 PM

13. Based upon your post

I would say that you have never worked at a corporate or chain grocery store.

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Response to Shampoobra (Reply #2)

Wed Jun 25, 2014, 02:41 PM

14. I don't buy your horror stories...

 

beat up by shelf stockers? Come on...what is this? 19th century?

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Response to Shampoobra (Reply #2)

Wed Jun 25, 2014, 02:51 PM

16. "Food is often (meaning, almost daily) purchased from anonymous sellers at the back loading dock"

 

HAHAHAHAHA !!!!!!!

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Response to frankieallen (Reply #16)

Wed Jun 25, 2014, 03:12 PM

20. Yeah, that's how supermarkets do things, for sure.

"Hey, buddy, I've got some steaks in the trunk. I'll give you a great price on 'em."

"Sure...back up to the dock, then."

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #20)

Wed Jun 25, 2014, 03:29 PM

21. I take it you've never been to Luca Brasi Sleeps with the Fishes Grocery before

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Response to pinboy3niner (Reply #21)

Wed Jun 25, 2014, 03:34 PM

23. No, but I used to get the best Italian Subs ever made

at Tinos Italian Grocery in Santa Barbara back in the 60s. What a place that was! Sausages hanging from hooks. I used to go there for lunch about three times a week. "Make me something special!" I don't even know the names of some of the sausages I got on my sandwich, along with marinated roasted peppers, a variety of cheeses, all on a crusty Italian roll laced with olive oil and garlic.

I looked up the place, and it's now closed and gone, after the owner died. A pity.

I've never found anything like it since, and I try in every city I visit. It was a special place in my life.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #23)

Fri Jun 27, 2014, 10:32 PM

40. Calling Luca Brasi an "Italian Sub" is an insult.







How dare you.

















Brasi was Siciliano.

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Response to Shampoobra (Reply #2)

Wed Jun 25, 2014, 02:53 PM

17. What store are you talking about? Otherwise I will join the others in calling cool story bro

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Response to Shampoobra (Reply #2)

Wed Jun 25, 2014, 02:53 PM

18. Cool story ...

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Response to Shampoobra (Reply #2)

Wed Jun 25, 2014, 03:00 PM

19. Yeah, the last time I got caught shoplifting at Safeway they did that to me.

Except they also let the baggers, floral department staff, and pharmacy techs get in on the action. Fortunately I had my cellphone on me and video recorded the entire incident and sued the shit out of those lousy bastards and now own my own grocery store where we have a strict non-beating policy for shoplifters. We just make them sit in a corner and read People magazine.

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Response to Shampoobra (Reply #2)

Wed Jun 25, 2014, 06:07 PM

29. where do you live?

That does not happen where I live.

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Response to Shampoobra (Reply #2)

Wed Jun 25, 2014, 06:11 PM

30. I was a dairy and frozen food manager years ago

None of that ever happened in any store I worked at. I doubt you ever worked in a grocery store

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Response to Shampoobra (Reply #2)

Wed Jun 25, 2014, 06:39 PM

32. I have worked at a supermarket

and never was someone given the choice of "getting severe beating by for or five shelf stockers or calling the police" or "selling food after it has melted and re-frozen" When we had freezers break down, if the product was melted, it was disposed of, the store got credit from the middleman. Or it was moved to other freezers that were working before it melted.

If we had perishable items that were not sold, they were immediately brought back and restocked on the shelves.

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Response to Shampoobra (Reply #2)

Wed Jun 25, 2014, 07:51 PM

33. Garbage.

 

If the coolers are down for more than a half hour, the doors are sealed, shelves covered in plastic and no one is allowed to open the cover or purchase the product. If the outage continues for 2 hours all perishables gets tossed in the garbage. This goes for any respectable grocery store. Even cream cheese found in the bread isle is thrown away due to not knowing how long its been out. Further... every single dumpster is completely sealed. And absolutely NOTHING is sold off the back dock.

As a vendor, I worked in almost every large chain in the northeast. Wherever the hell you worked is certainly not the norm. 'Round here, that place would be shut down in under a minute.

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Response to Miles Archer (Original post)

Wed Jun 25, 2014, 06:45 AM

4. It's wrapped. It's not 101 INSIDE the store.

We don't know how long it has been there. We don't know whether they reshelved it.

There are two main ways that meat spoils -- 1) growth of bacteria and 2) fat goes rancid. Wrapped ground beef is not going to have any significant bacteria growth because it has been processed with ammonia and all kinds of killer chemicals.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/04/us-food-ammonia-idUSBRE8331B420120404

For the fat in ground beef to go rancid it needs air.

USDA recommends no more than 2 hours at room temp and that is extremely conservative for wrapped beef that has had every living thing on it killed by two or more methods.

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Response to KurtNYC (Reply #4)

Wed Jun 25, 2014, 01:54 PM

5. True, but...

...I'm extremely paranoid about food safety. Meat sitting at room temperature for any period of time, unattended, is cause for concern on my part.

I would HOPE that by the time the WalMart employee grabbed that cart, the meat would have been tossed. There's nothing on the cart to indicate how long any of the items have been sitting there.

And while it was 101 here yesterday and the A/C was on in Walmart, you couldn't feel it in the Customer Service area, where this cart was sitting.

I understand everything you've posted here, but only on an intellectual level. If that meat sat around and got re-shelved (and yes, we have no idea if it did or not), there is nothing that would make me feel good about buying it, safe or not.

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Response to Miles Archer (Reply #5)

Wed Jun 25, 2014, 02:21 PM

6. I'm certified in safe food handling

Had to attend courses on the "sex life of pathogens" and take written tests. I have cooked over 100,000 hamburgers and have never, to my knowledge, served product that has made someone sick.

I understand concern about food safety because I have been sick on restaurant food.

At the risk of making your concerns worse I will add: hamburger is the oldest beef in most supermarkets. They take steaks that were thawed and that didn't sell within 2 days and they grind them all together, grade them by fat content and put them back out in fresh packages. Same for boneless skinless chicken -- because the fat (skin) on chicken is the first thing to spoil, they strip it off and rewrap the chicken several times -- while then quartered then skinless, then boneless & skinless -- marking the price per pound up each time.

If you want the freshest meats you should buy whole chicken (or on the bone) and grind your own single-source hamburger from chuck or round.

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Response to KurtNYC (Reply #6)

Wed Jun 25, 2014, 02:32 PM

10. Hey, while we are on the subject.

What do you think about eating a piece of cooked cheese and sausage pizza that sat out over night?

We ordered pizza the other day and I forgot to put leftovers away. I ate a couple pieces the next day and the boyfriend had a conniption.

The boyfriend is the type who freaks out and throws away food on the sell by date and throws away OTC medicine on the use by date.

Me? I was raised by wolves.

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Response to Hassin Bin Sober (Reply #10)

Wed Jun 25, 2014, 02:47 PM

15. If you nuke for 30 seconds you should kill most everything alive on there

The same spoilage methods would apply -- growth of pathogens and fat going rancid. Once meat is cooked the original pathogens are dead so in a home you would only have the pathogens that already live there (the ones on you, your counter top, etc) and a quick nuke will kill those. Most of us can tolerate a fair amount of pathogens and the ultimate proof of whether it is safe to eat or not is whether it made you sick. The smell (has to be thawed or cooked) and the first bite are your best line of defense against eating spoiled foods.

"Best before" dates are just a guess, usually conservative, of when the product will begin to show signs of age, not necessarily when it will go bad. I have seen it on bottled water !? Ironically for this thread, it was WALMART that got all the processors to put "best before" on their packages in readily readable format. They used to do it in a simple code. Theories are that Walmart wanted to hurt other grocery chains and leverage their ability to move product before it hits those dates when smaller stores may not be as able to do so.

Medicine is different because some will lose effectiveness and others may do something worse.

I love day-old pizza.

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Response to Hassin Bin Sober (Reply #10)

Thu Jun 26, 2014, 08:19 PM

38. I watched a program about this once

where they tested all kinds of foods that had sat out for extended periods of time. Basically, cooked pizza didn't have significant bacterial counts after more than a day. After seeing that program, when our family used to go on trips, we would order a large order of pizza at night, and then the next morning we had a ready-made breakfast in the hotel for the kids (these were in the days before hotels served breakfasts regularly). Never once did I, my ex, or the kids get sick. I'm a big freak about food safety too....I've started to relax on some things though after seeing that program (it was some consumer program here in Canada that does a lot of investigative journalism about consumer issues, they also tested the validity of sell by dates).

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Response to KurtNYC (Reply #6)

Wed Jun 25, 2014, 05:58 PM

26. I'm glad you shared both of those facts...

...I'd learned them a while back but I am grateful to have them posted in this discussion.



The chicken thing, yeah...I hardly buy it any more but I always buy skin-on, bone-in chicken breasts. I do buy whole chickens occasionally but never, never, NEVER buy ANY kind of "boneless skinless chicken breast" products.

I am fortunate to own a Kitchen Aid mixer with the meat grinder attachment. I always buy chuck and grind it myself. I've heard some people say that mixing it with boneless short ribs results in a more flavorful end result, but the majority of times I buy it is when I am making meatballs or meatloaf, and I'm perfectly happy with straight chuck in both.

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Response to KurtNYC (Reply #6)

Wed Jun 25, 2014, 08:02 PM

35. Not to mention...

 

ground meat has the most bacteria due to having the most surface area. Why people buy that shit is beyond me.

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Response to KurtNYC (Reply #6)

Fri Jun 27, 2014, 10:42 PM

41. Many of the chains no longer do any of that.

It gets marked down, and is doesn't sell, gets written off as a loss.

Ground beef is no longer all the unsold beef ground up due to the risks of one contaminated piece of meat ruining an entire run of grinds, and exposing the chain to massive liability.

It is purchased in bulk according to graded fat/lean ratio then run through a grinder and re-packaged.


HAACP ceritified, 25 years in the meat business.

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Response to Miles Archer (Reply #5)

Wed Jun 25, 2014, 03:33 PM

22. "The meat I eat for dinner must be hung up for a week"

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Response to Miles Archer (Original post)

Wed Jun 25, 2014, 02:28 PM

8. how did you keep your groceries at the correct temperature

 

from the store to your home in 101 degree heat ?

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Response to NM_Birder (Reply #8)

Wed Jun 25, 2014, 06:03 PM

27. I usually go to the market around 6 AM

101 peak heat happens around 3 PM. Mornings are usually in the high 70s to mid 80s on those days. I head straight home...I am about 3 miles away.

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Response to Miles Archer (Original post)

Wed Jun 25, 2014, 02:39 PM

12. Who the hell shops in a 101 degree WalMart?

 

Ridiculous.

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Response to Miles Archer (Original post)

Wed Jun 25, 2014, 06:06 PM

28. I LOATHE WalMart. I worked at one for two weeks.

 

However, the policy of the store in which I worked was that food never, ever went back on the shelf if it was returned. It was always tossed. Perhaps this food is just waiting to be tossed.

My experience working in the sporting goods/auto section of the WalMart was one of the most horrible experiences I've ever had. It is a horrible, horrible company. During orientation they made it clear that there were hundreds of cameras watching our every move and that any time we could be called into the office if someone monitoring the cameras saw something, anything that needed to be explained.

During in-store training I was reminded by other "associates" that the cameras were always watching us. To always be busy. On break people would buy a soda or food and they'd tape the receipt to it to ensure they could prove they didn't steal it. Such was the environment at WalMart. "You're a fucking guilty slacker unless you can prove otherwise."

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Response to dballance (Reply #28)

Thu Jun 26, 2014, 06:19 PM

36. I worked BRIEFLY at a local convenience store...

Your third paragraph:

During in-store training I was reminded by other "associates" that the cameras were always watching us. To always be busy. On break people would buy a soda or food and they'd tape the receipt to it to ensure they could prove they didn't steal it. Such was the environment at WalMart. "You're a fucking guilty slacker unless you can prove otherwise."


Been there, seen that, done that...to the letter. It's not just WalMart. And the BEST part was that when I taped the receipt to my drink the woman training me ALWAYS yelled "YOU DON'T NEED TO USE THAT MUCH TAPE!!!" (The guy who owns the 4 markets in this little toilet of a desert town pulls down $3.2 MILLION a year, according to Dun & Bradstreet).


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Response to Miles Archer (Original post)

Wed Jun 25, 2014, 07:56 PM

34. That food will not go back on the shelf.

 

It goes back to the department for disposal. You cant just toss meat in the customer service trash. Just sayin.

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Response to Miles Archer (Original post)

Thu Jun 26, 2014, 07:29 PM

37. Did you see it placed back on the shelf? Cooler?

 

Then this pic proves nothing.
Scene one might see in any grocery store.

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Response to maced666 (Reply #37)

Fri Jun 27, 2014, 10:24 PM

39. Didn't say that it did prove anything

Didn't see it put back on the shelf.

Didn't see them dispose of it.

Saw it sitting in that cart in the customer service area and without knowing what they intended to do with it, got concerned.

That's it.

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