Monday, 8 August 2016

Rotten Salad


My maiden rant post dead ahead. I am angry. I am very, very angry. Last Sunday I went grocery shopping. I browsed the salad section and chanced upon packets of Baby Spinach. I love Baby Spinach! So I took a packet and inspected it.

Nope, no expiry date was indicated anywhere on the package. The contents looked fresh. So. I took it. I took a risk.

When I got home and opened the package, what I discovered almost made me turn green into the Incredible Hulk. I was so mad. Look.


When I poured the contents into a basin, I noted that most of the leaves were already bruised and rotting. They were slimy too. I started to sort them, hoping to salvage the good ones. 

It was an exercise in futility. About 70% of the contents were bad. I was really pissed. PISSED.

Lets look at the packaging.


Product of Malaysia. Consume within 3 days after opening. But where is the expiry or best before date?


That date was nowhere to be found. All that they have is the batch number. Not even the packing date. So how the heck can your customer tell if this packet is fresh? And how the heck can the supermarket staff tell which batch to toss and which batch to sell? Not very clever this.


All that accreditation HACCP, MeSTI or whatever ding dong bells mean nothing if you can't get the basics right. In fact you don't even deserve the Halal certification. Halal is not just about pork or alcohol. Halal encompasses all matters of daily life including cleanliness and fitness for consumption.


What a waste of hard earned money. I feel even worse because my partner paid for this. If I wasted my own money, I won't feel half as bad. 


Sure you can tell me to go back to the supermarket to complain and get a refund. Look, I don't have time to waste. 

How about complain to the company that supplies this crap? Here in Malaysia, customer service leaves much to be desired. This will happen when you complain :

1. You get no reply. Total silence. Or;

2. You get a standard reply that they will look into your complaint and get back to you. One of two things can happen when you get to this stage :

(i) No follow up reply. Or;

(ii) Another standard reply that appears to address the problem but it actually doesn't.


Yeah, I know what you are thinking. PH is barking up the wrong tree. Yes, I do appreciate that part of the problem also lies with the supermarket. Fine, the product was delivered fresh in tip to condition. But the handling of the product could have been compromised (not immediately sent to the cold room, rough handling etc).

Or the person-in-charge did not do a check on the shelves to make sure that products that have exceeded shelf life is removed and replaced with fresh stock.

You know what I hate about the supermarket here? When they open for business at 10:00am, that is the time when the staff starts scrambling to replenish/remove perishables at the shelves. 

They would be pushing all those big carts around and the whole horde of customers would be jostling and maneuvering their trolleys around those things.

That is why you end up picking up vegetables that are no longer fresh if you shop too early. Why can't they do all this before they open for business?


This supplier needs to send their people over to the supermarket to do some quality control check. Or else they are going to lose their market share when customers avoid their products. But do they even know this problem exists? I doubt it.

We Malaysian consumers are a passive lot and we tend to adopt the "just accept" mentality. Nope. Not me. I will never buy this product or any product distributed by this company ever again.

Into the rubbish bin it went!

34 comments:

  1. Veg., i not too sure, as for fruits, i ever saw customers in supermarket opening those fruits that is packed in box, to inspect the fruits...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Vege some can see quite clear from the packaging but not this one.

      Delete
  2. There's probably a sticker label with the expiry date that came loose and missed the staff's scrutiny. To be honest those staff are usually also not the most attentive bunch.

    You're right, we're mostly a passive bunch. For me, I hate conflicts, especially when it is unnecessary and will lead me nowhere. Like you, I'd rather just stop buying them than waste more of my time and effort to engage in a merry-go-round with the sellers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's a lot of apathy going on if you ask me. It is nobody's problem.

      Delete
  3. My view is that if one does not address
    the issue with the supermarket, one cannot expect the latter to be aware of it. But on the other hand, it's easy for me to say so as I don't live in Makaysia and I am not familiar with the system.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Here in Malaysia, it is kinda sad that there is no point complaining as they just don't care. But if more of us are proactive, maybe there will be improvement but I doubt this will happen :(

      Delete
  4. Wah! This Aunty Green is so garang today! LOLOL
    I have posted before getting cheated with a bag full of rotten pears! The 6 pears were still wrapped in protective styro-foam nets and sealed inside the big plastic bag. When I got home and removed all the covers, I started to swear and Khau Pek Khau Boh all day long and wrote in my blog.

    Now this supermarket near my home has changed their policy and allow customers to change any spoilt fresh food within 2 days with receipt proof.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Having been a bit familiar with barcodes, I could sense the reversed date that read 08-16. Still, that is not complete with missing DAY!! KNN!

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    2. Yeah, I remember your post. No good lah they don't put expiry date. Don't want to buy anymore.

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  5. I was posting on salad too today. I also hate buting rotten salad. Usually they look okay from outside but once you open the pack, they could be rotten inside.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very deceptive, also due to the lighting at the shelf, can't see properly.

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  6. Oh ... our Madam is very angry ! Well, I could sense/understand how you feel especially all the hassle from driving there to just get it refund or exchange the 1 item.
    Luckily there are supermarkets near my place within walking distant. I ever encountered (not often) such unpleasant things (eg. spoilt fresh milk, fruits etc.) so I just go back immediately to settle the matter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, angry grrr... LOL! The supermarket is also within walking distance for me but it is really hassle to go out in the hot sun, braving the traffic and the crowd.

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  7. I buy prewashed baby spinach in UK but never here. Don't dare to buy here but I do buy those prewashed and ready-to-eat raw salad leaves. So far so good but baby spinach leaves are more tender than those salad leaves so they are more easily bruised. Sigh I hope the company bucks up and finds out at which part of the process the leaves get bruised and solves it or else they are in trouble as more customers like you boycott them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have also bought those pre-washed raw salad leaves. Even those have problem. The expiry date is still OK but sometimes there is a small bit of rotting leaves too.

      Delete
  8. oh no ... i love baby spinach too, and it's sad to be looking forward to cooking this and then having to discard most of it. hope you feel a bit better having written this down!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. After venting my frustration I feel better hah..hah...

      Delete
  9. Unfortunately, the onus here is on us not buying rotten goods instead of the supermarket clearing the rotten stuff. I noticed that the packaging you posted had one side that's clearly transparent plastic....you didn't check or didn't see that the leaves were already wet and spoilt? For me, I'd scrutinise the transparent packaging to try to see as much as possible inside. And if I see that there's condensation in the packaging (or there's a bit of water collected at the bottom), that's a sign that the leaves are no longer fresh. Yeah, I also like to do my grocery shopping first thing in the morning and hate it too when the supermarkets are not ready when they open.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I did inspect the package and amazingly it looked alright from the outside. No sign of moisture. Or I need my eyes checked hah..hah... The rot was in the middle of the package :(

      Delete
  10. Send photos, everything to the newspapers! They hate this kind of negative publicity!

    That is one thing I do not like about shopping in supermarts, when one can't really see what's packed. Better at the wet market, can pick and choose...but some imported veg, not available there, only in the supermarts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I should do that! Market is the best of course, very fresh vegetables and meat if you go early. But supermarket is more convenient for me.

      Delete
  11. I can understand your anger. I seldom buy green, leafy veg in plastic unless I can see clearly that they are really fresh. I prefer to buy those not wrapped in plastic to be safe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now most of it is wrapped in plastic especially leafy greens. I just need to be more careful.

      Delete
  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  13. Hi there! Just wanted to say..while I understand your concerns about your complaint not being taken seriously, I still think that you should bring this issue up with the supermarket (speak to the manager) so that at the very least they are aware of it and are given the chance to change. Boycotting this product won't do much because it'll probably won't affect their sales much so keeping silent is still a passive attitude.. Also, since you have all the photos you can still use that as evidence! :)

    Anyways, hope you feel better after ranting it all out! This is just my two cents since I usually bring back spoilt foodstuff wherever possible because I can't stand wasting money and also to let the supermarket know that the state of their produce is unacceptable.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I guess you are right. I managed to find the supplier's website and I posted a complaint. Let's see if I get any response.

      Sure, I feel much better hah..hah... You are doing the right thing.

      Delete
  14. Hey PH, you are not alone..I also experienced before... very heartbreaking and the only thing I could think of is "Boycott" .. and no more buying from that place... Now come to think of it, will putting it up in their FB account help?

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    Replies
    1. I managed to find their website and placed a complaint there. If I don't hear from them, hmmm...then I try their FB :)

      Delete
  15. I can understand why you are furious, it is not a matter of money, it is a matter of principle, moreover this is food item and we are the ones consuming it, must make it is fresh and edible

    I spotted "dark humor" here where you made it light with the "jokes", I laughed at the part where you said you turned green into Incredible Hulk

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  16. *must sure it is fresh and edible

    ReplyDelete
  17. *must make sure that is is fresh and edible

    ReplyDelete
  18. I saw the baby spinach with same packaging when I did my grocery shopping too andI nearly wanna grab it :P Sorry to read about your experience and hope u feel better after voice it out :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Must be careful if you want to buy. Look very closely to make sure you don't get what I got :(

      Delete

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