It’s safe to say that we’re pretty surprised by some GTA-based grocery stores right now — if you haven’t heard the news, you’re in for a shock, too. In the last week, two social media postings have revealed some interesting infractions.
As reported by Reddit user massivecoiler (and seen in the photo above), a mouse was allegedly found in a loaf of D’Italiano’s new olive oil bread at No Frills (owned by Loblaw Companies) in Hamilton. Not exactly a thrilling surprise. While most of the internet was repulsed at the Main and Tisdale location, much of Reddit is laughing the situation off.
Not everyone thinks that the grocery chain is completely to blame. According to Reddit user JediAreTakingOver, mice in grocery stores is a pretty common occurrence. They said, “this is rather common, but usually the bread doesnt make it to the shelf.” They continued by saying that typically mice who haven’t found home for the winters tend to flee indoors, and sometimes, supermarkets become their home, ending with, “someone doing their job would throw the ones they burrow into out. Its usually obvious to spot this (ripped bag). My guess is the stock person didnt do a thorough check.”
In an email to the National Post, Loblaw’s spokeswoman, Karen Gumbs, said, “We are taking this matter very seriously and investigating all potential causes. We apologize to our customers for the concern and inconvenience this has caused.” She continued, “The store has taken a number of steps to ensure this doesn’t happen again,” and that they are working closely with their supplier prevent future issues.
While it’s unclear where the mouse came from exactly, and if it was dead or alive when it was found, what is clear is that Loblaw Companies had a pretty exciting week in their public relations department.
Less than a week before, another instance stirred controversy with the major grocery chain.
Michael Pearle, a customer at the Dufferin and Steeles Loblaws Superstore, shared a surprising image on Facebook. The image, which pictures a grocery cart full of raw, unpacked steaks, is allegedly how the grocery store was transporting their meat in the butcher section.
“Lo and behold I found them!” Pearle wrote in a public Facebook post on October 6. “In a grocery cart. I’m sure this violates every public health statute. […] certainly not President’s Choice! Disgusting and DUMB! – in plain sight!”
When speaking with CBC, Pearle, who is a resident from Thornhill, said, “Fifty or 60 steaks in there, sitting in the cart without any wrapping that I had seen. It just seemed very, you know, very unhygienic and it looked disgusting, to be honest with you.” He also told the publication that he filed a complaint with the Toronto Board of Health and that claimed they “were going to be looking into it.”
In another interview with Karen Gumbs, the Loblaw’s spokeswoman said that the meat cart violates their food safety standards and that it “absolutely should not have happened.” She also said, “we’ve reminded all departments of our protocols to ensure nothing like this happens again.”
Of course, Facebook users had plenty to say about the situation.
As of November 12, 2018, the post has been shared 184 times. One user pointed the finger at upper management and said, “By not stepping in and preventing this incident from occurring in the first place, they are pretty much condoning the act of cross contamination.” While another user said, “just think how many times you bought meat there that was like this. Unbelievable and nasty wow and they want to ensure it’s safe to buy their meat again ahhaha ya no.”
But not all comments were negative. One user, who claims to have worked at Loblaws for 17 years, said that they “have no reason to not trust them.” and that though the store was busy, the store they worked at was always clean and the meat was always fresh.
Another user argued that perhaps viewers weren’t being told the entire store, saying, “These meats may be past date/“expired” and they must be disposed of.”
With all of the situations that have taken place, regardless of how and why a mouse ended up in a bag of bread, or why meats were being stored in a grocery cart, we are happy that Loblaws reacted to the situation in a swift and professional manner, and we hope that incidents like the aforementioned don’t pop up again.
If we’ve learned anything from the situation, it’s to keep your eyes peeled and always double check your groceries before you buy them — we’re sure that Loblaw Companies is going to be extra careful with the food they’re putting out for shoppers.
Featured image: Reddit/massivecoiler