$25K fine; Australian Woolworths supermarket fined for food safety breach

Woolworths Noranda in Western Australia was issued with a fine of $25,672.40 on 28 February 2014 for offences dating back to 23 September 2013 involving the in-house bakery.

WA Today reports that further investigation of the site found that metal from equipment was discovered in baked goods that were intended for woolworthssale.

A spokesperson for the supermarket giant told WA Today that it has since rectified the issue.

“We have replaced the equipment in the store to ensure there can be no further incidents of this type.”

Woolworths caught selling out of date food in Adelaide

This is not your parent’s Woolworths. In Australia and New Zealand, Woolworths, related in name only, is the largest retailer. The other big supermarket is Coles. They both suck at food safety, based on personal observation, public talks full of sanctimonious nonsense that anyone could see through, and crap food.

Recently, Woolworths was cited for selling foods that were well past their use-by dates. Two different incidents were noted of Asian lamb and rice pre-packaged woolworths_logomeals that were purchased almost two weeks after their use-by date. The store responsible for the sales is located in Adelaide.

According to food safety law, all foods must contain a sell-by or use-by date. Any items that could become dangerous to consume from bacteria or other contamination after a certain amount of time must contain a use-by date for consumer safety. All other foods should include a sell-by date. This date will only say the food may not be as good. It doesn’t indicate any danger or contamination.

In this instance, with Woolworths, the food had a distinct use-by date, indicating that consumption of the pre-packaged meals could result in danger to the consumer health. This means that the supermarket giant was in breach of food safety codes 1.2.5 set forth by the Australia and New Zealand Food Standards Commission. According to Australian law, this breach of code can result in fines up to $250,000 total.

Woolworths used two different methods of defence while admitting their error: no one became ill from eating the two packages of expired foods and the problem was a result of staff error. Woolworths went on to explain that the staff of the store in question has since undergone intensive training on the proper way to handle any expired foods. The company admitted to the wrong doing but explained how they worked to handle the matter quickly.

The magistrate judge who handled the case stated to the press that the company would be the subject of seriously negative publicity and he felt this was a much better punishment than any fine he could charge. While Woolworths was not charged with any conviction, they were forced to pay the minimal fine to show that they committed wrongdoing.

Frog found in bag of Aussie salad

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Sydneysider Ben Mulligan has branded Woolworths’ claim that the salad he bought was “washed and ready to eat” as all “LIES!!!” after he says he found an amphibian friend alive in the bottom of the Kermit-the-Frogbag.

Mr Mulligan took photographs of the frog inside the pre-packaged Aussie salad and posted them on the supermarket chain’s Facebook page on Monday night.

“It appears that you forgot to list FROG on the ingredients of your pre-packaged salads, Woolworths,” Mr Mulligan wrote to Woolworths.

“This is disgusting. I ate some of this salad. I could DIE! This poor frog. Wait until PETA hear about this.

“I feel disgusted… disgusted, and still hungry, Woolworths. I bought the salad for me to eat. Not for a FROG to eat. The frog didn’t pay for this salad.”

Within a day of being posted online, the photographs had been shared more than 650 times on Facebook and had attracted nearly 2000 comments.

When contacted, Mr Mulligan said he was discussing the matter with Woolworths and couldn’t comment immediately.

In a statement, a Woolworths spokesperson said the company was investigating the incident.

Scientology for food; biodynamic almonds recalled for Salmonella

Biodynamic agriculture could be batshit crazy, what with the filling and burying of shit in cow horns.

But I’m not judging.

I am judging why a major Australian retailer would carry biodynamic almonds.

That’s crazy.

Woolworths Ltd has recalled Macro Wholefoods Market Organic Biodynamic Almonds nationally from Woolworths Supermarkets, Safeway, Food for Less, Flemings Supermarkets and Thomas Dux Grocers due to Salmonella contamination. Food contaminated with Salmonella may cause illness if consumed. Consumers should not eat this product and should return it to the place of purchase for a full refund. Any consumers concerned about their health should seek medical advice.

Is food safety suffering because of Australian grocery duopoly?

Food safety is always the top priority of a retailer – when talking to the press. It’s usually different on the ground.

A reader says quality assurance staff at many food providers are being sacrificed for the bottom line, insisted upon by the two primary food retailers in Australia – Coles and Woolworths.

According to The Age (the newspaper in Melbourne) suppliers to Woolworths claim they have been given two weeks to cut their prices by up to 10 per cent or have their goods removed from shelves — with no commitment from the supermarket giant to lower prices to consumers.

The squeeze on suppliers — described by one of them as "the most brutal negotiations… in my three decades in the industry" — is being mounted by Woolworths to help fund its price war with Coles.

The primary beneficiary of this price war appears to be the media, with fancy adverts popping up all over.

Woolworths spokeswoman Claire Kimball said there was no two-week completion cut-off in its negotiations and "nothing unusual happening at the moment … When we put our position to vendors we often ask them to come back to us in two weeks with their response. However it is a negotiation and this often necessitates ongoing discussions."

Memo to Australian retailers: provide sanitizing wipes in stores or pay to clean my shorts

This is going to be transformed into dinner in about 12 hours, traditional comfort food as the people of Brisbane bundle up with lows as low as 59F and highs of only 69F with rain (people are dressed like it was Feb. in Saskatoon).

But when I picked the bird out of the cooler case yesterday, blood ran down my hand. I looked for something to help clean up the mess and could only find my shorts.

The same thing happened a few weeks ago with some marked-down packaged chicken pieces. I happened to pick a checkout aisle that was being manned by the manager. I asked Mr. Megalomart Manager if he had something form me to wipe my hands on.


I asked about the bloody drippings now on the checkout conveyor. He looked around but couldn’t find the sanitizing solution he insisted was at every checkout.

I said, in the U.S. and Canada, it has become routine to find disposable sanitizing wipes not only near the meat counter, but any raw product such as produce, along with a variety of contraptions and wipes for sanitizing shopping carts.

Manager thought the wipes were a decent idea; they had a weekly food safety meeting and he’d bring it up with corporate.

Corporate trashed the idea because of cost and waste.

Something to keep in mind next time a vp of something proclaims, “food safety is our top priority.”