Organic Groceries - You're Buying Quality, Not Service.

Here's a little mystery to solve - a tub of sour cream purchased at Whole Foods yesterday. Right, it's a week past the expiration date, this being in addition to to getting credited with a double-counting of packaged walnuts at the checkout. Granted, it's nothing that an hour in a car back-and-forth to the claims counter won't solve for full money back, no questions asked, and of course I'll always have the memories. Somehow though, it drew a great want and the issue needed to be resolved - whyzizzit that supermarkets sell expired food, fail to bag, or ring up the purchases incorrectly? Here's why.

The back room rhubarb amongst the TH authors is that it's nothing personal, it just business. Fact is cashiers make mistakes - they double-scan items, they forget to put things in the bag, they flub the codes on the bulk food items. There's some apocryphal evidence to suggest that this is just bad management at certain stores, perhaps driven by not enough workers on the floor or a high turnover ratio (cough, cough, Home Depot), but I digress. Bottom line is, 8 to 9 dollars an hour for help translates into 8 to 9 dollars an hour service; it doesn't matter than you just bought a $17 bottle of mustard, you need to check your receipt against your cart each and every time. That, or an hour round-trip to get full money back, no questions asked.

Duplo on the expired items; frankly, me-me thinks it's absurd that one needs to check expiration dates on expensive organic food purchases; can't the $5 tub of sour cream at least be fresh? Note that there's nothing wrong with the food - I'd gladly scoop and swallow with my hands if it were fresh - but inventory, out of code codes, restocking, etc. forces one to inspect the date on every purchase. If it's caveat emptor for every $17 jar of mustard, every $12 pound of dried mangoes, and every expiration date needs to be checked...... ok; I'll do it because this TH is not going to eat poison. But you can do better; when one pays premium they expect the very best.

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Tags: Food Safety | Whole Foods

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