I am a senior citizen and a resident of Dundas. I have been buying food in this store for at least 12 years. Thery used to have expiry date printed on most food products, including the meats, sausages, and cheese. Then, they replaced the “Expiry date” with the “Best before” date. A few years ago, I was told by the manager that the “Best before” date allows them to keep food items on the shelf and sell them even past the date indicated as “best before”. Nowadays, the “Best before” date is not always shown. Instead, you have the “Packaged on” date, which is the date and time that you are buying it. (Or, sometimes, a meaningless code.) This is useless, as it does not tell you how fresh the product is – it could have been sitting on their shelf for weeks and you would not know about it based on the “Packaged on” date.
I can understand why these changes are being implemented by Metro and I can see the results, already. Yesterday, I bought some Sikorski ham and kabanos sausages. Five minutes later, I put them in the refrigerator at home. Today, I ate some of the ham and a piece of the kabanos sausage. They did not look or feel fresh. Within 15 minutes, I could feel a strong sour aftertaste and I feel sick to my stomach, as I am writing this. The products that I bought were not new to me. I know them well, I often buy them in other stores, including the Metro store in Mississauga, where they are always fresh and last for days. When fresh, they are always dry and have fresh aroma and fresh taste. Unfortunately, this has not been my latest experience in the Dundas Metro on Governor’s Road. The cold cuts were wet (sweaty) and so was the skin of the kabanos sausages.
I called the store and complained about it to the assistant manager, who offered me a refund, if I bring back the remaining product and the bill. This was nice but it does not solve the problem. The store should check the meat products they are selling on regular basis, as this is a potential health hazard. Taking back food for a refund is an inconvenience that should be avoided. And the question is, how many – especially older – clients will buy and consume unfresh meat products and get sick, as a result?
I think that we should push for restoring the regulation which required grocery stores to post “Expiry date” on meat and cheese products, as well as on other packaged food products. This was being done and being deemed necessary in the past, so it also should be possible and reasonable today. It would prevent suppliers and stores from selling unfresh food in order to maximize their profits at the cost of public health and safety. Twenty years ago, when the food was three times less expensive, this would not have happened. It is not acceptable today, either.