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Old 12-11-2012, 08:58 PM   #11
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I woud definitely take it back. They need to step up their service. If they aren't called on it, they won't know anything is amiss. If it is because they are overstocking - re -- both meats and produce are not good / past their shelf life, then they are not doing either themselves or the customer a service and are in fact endangering you.

Perhaps when they first opened, there was a surge in business to check them out. Now afterwhile, they didn't gain a wide enough customer base and they offer more than they can sell.

Perhaps you can find a person who speaks their language to go with you to help the communication flow. I know you don't want to just do it for a refund, and there is more to this than just a few $.

Otherwise, if you continue to shop, I'd take notes and place a call to the Health dept if the pattern continues. And no, it's not a negative, it is a community issue.

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Old 12-11-2012, 10:20 PM   #12
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Take it back. It's possible that some irresponsible shopper removed the meat from the cold case, decided not to make the purchase and then just discarded it on a shelf. Then some one spotting the product assumed it was OK to put it back into the cold case. I've seen it happen more than once.

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Old 12-12-2012, 03:11 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Dawgluver View Post
I agree, take it back. Show it to the owner. Stores won't stay in business long if they make their customers sick. This may need to be pointed out to the owner, he may be clueless. Might not hurt to call the health inspector if you aren't happy with the response.
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Old 12-12-2012, 10:11 AM   #14
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I would show them the pepperoni, and point out the produce to try to help them out. If they don't listen, at least you won't have to wonder if they went out of business because they didn't know any better. If the manager gets upset with you for trying to help, just move on and shop there at your own risk, and with great caution. Maybe if you are buying lamb or goat you can find out what day it comes in and make sure you're getting the fresh stuff
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Old 12-12-2012, 02:04 PM   #15
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First, know that health inspectors don't come around often. In a small city, it might be only once a year. You really are your own food police. One thing going for you in that place seems to be that you don't have to think about what treatments meat might have been subjected to for the purpose of making it look fresher. The trade-off is, of course, that in many of these ethnic groceries, the meat looks normal, meaning is darkens quickly and is discolored long before it's no longer fresh. The shelf life of red meats is determined by color change and normally has nothing to do with spoilage.

The point here is that BigChain Megamart Grocery, Inc., has little experience worrying about red meat spoilage. They have color change, the fact that their shoppers won't buy darkened meat, to guide them, so probably all the red meat they remove from their shelves is far from spoiled.

Ethnic grocery customers may have a tolerance for red meat that has darkened with age, simply because it wasn't a concern in the home countries. So the store can shift their concern more toward removing meat that is spoiled or close to spoiling. They are naturally going to slip up more often, because meat spoilage is strictly a subjective judgment. Plus, the Megamart has a more sophisticated system of merchandise controls and a better idea of how much to stock. I'm prepared to give the ethnic grocery a little slack.

I worry less about spoiled butcher product and more about salumeria type preserved meats that have gone bad but may be eaten without further cooking by the unaware. You can mostly smell the bad butcher product. And meat spoilage is subjective because cooking and eating spoiled red meat is relatively safe.

I would definitely talk with the grocer. I talk to department managers multiple times a year where I shop. If I want product brought back or introduced or better kept in stock, that the way to do it. I also take time to talk with people like the fish counter staff and have learned a lot from them about how fish is handled and stocked.

Don't expect to be able to "read" the grocer's reaction to you. There are vast cultural differences in the way people deal with criticism and frank talk. Looking into the other persons eyes and "straight talk" are far from universal virtues. It may not elicit a big reaction fact to face, but it's possible the cured meats supplier may get an earful for shaming the grocer with bad product. We have to encourage these operations. The big guys don't seem much inclined to do much with meats like goat.
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Old 12-12-2012, 02:37 PM   #16
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Ethnics aside, I believe that all fresh meats are supposed to have a sell by date and I wouldn't buy anything that doesn't have one. I'd return the pepperoni, and any other stuff you may have purchased that is off or iffy, and I would not go there again. Too dangerous.
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Old 12-14-2012, 10:26 PM   #17
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Thank you all for the input! I'm sorry I couldn't respond sooner. This week has been a doozy, but that's a another story for another thread.

I didn't take it back. I simply didn't have time. I did, however, call. I spoke to one of the managers, but not the owner. I told her exactly what it was, where it was, and how badly it was spoiled. She said they would remove the products from their cooler. She offered me a refund, but I told her I wasn't worried about it and had already thrown away the product (I knew I didn't have time to take it back and like I said, it stunk), but I wanted to make sure that nobody got sick. She thanked me. I haven't been back yet. I was hoping to pop in the next morning to make sure they'd pulled the items, but like I said, doozy week. I do intend to return, partly because I want to give them another chance, but also partly because I want to keep an eye on things. If I see more causes for major concern, I'll certainly notify the health department.

It's funny, the night before, after eating their freshly-made still-warm pitas, I had planned to get on DC and sing this store's praises, but ran out of time. Let's hope that they get their act together.
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Old 01-03-2013, 10:30 PM   #18
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You should definitely make sure it sinks in to the grocer. He probably doesn't know too much about meat himself and doesn't know any better. Meat is definitely a touchy subject, it can easily put him out of business instantly.

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