Safeway practices

joaniepoanieAugust 14, 2014

I pretty much only shop at Safeway. I just stopped to buy cookies for a retirement party at work tomorrow. You know, the ones in the bakery section in plastic containers where the sticky label with the price, date, etc holds the container shut.

So I get home and start to peel off the price and notice that it appears there are two labels. What? Was a new label slapped over the old one and are these cookies not as fresh as marked? Yessiree bob! The top label says "sell by Aug 19" and the bottom label says "sell by Aug 15."

Now, I'm sure the cookies will be fine, but it's the principle. IIRC, years ago I seem to recall Safeway was doing the same thing with meat and were sued and supposedly ended this practice. Apparently not.

I'm going to take pictures and send them to corporate headquarters and save the label and show the store manager the next time I'm there. I don't want or expect anything, but I don't think they should be doing this.

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If you don't complain they will never know. I'd ask for a gift card for some sort of compensation IMHO, worst thing they can say is no..

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 7:18PM
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You could also file a complaint with your local or state consumer protection office.

Here is a link that might be useful: file a complaint

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 8:18PM
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I bet they tell you they discarded the old cookies and just recycled, re-used the dome package and put a new price on it, since it was unused. Not that I'd believe them.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 9:05PM
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Good for you. They should absolutely know about this.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 9:54PM
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A friend of ours owns a commercial bakery, and he has explained to me that very few of the baked goods in grocery stores are actually baked there. In fact, they are not only baked by companies like his, they are packaged and labeled at that facility as well. So that would eliminate "we re-used the package" argument.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 10:29PM
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Bestyears - that is true for many chains. Very little is actually fully baked in the store. For instance our Shop Rite sells an artisan bread that's advertised as store baked. Which is partially true - however they omit the fact that the bread has already been baked and frozen at the plant and then the store only has to bake it for 15 minutes to finish it and brown the crust.

Some of the baked goods arrive in large cartons and the store then re-packages them into smaller containers. I think it probably varies by chain.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 11:19PM
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Joanie, I'd call your local TV station's consumer hotline. My guess is the management already knows what is going on and your telling him will not change a thing other than getting better at hiding what they are doing.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 12:48AM
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Elraes Miller

Safeway has given me a headache. I can't figure out what the true price on most things are anymore. Even sales, you need to keep up on them constantly. At this point, the only time I buy there is when milk is 1.99 a gal. Even then, the sale by date is really limited to a couple of days. My favorite bakery bread is discontinued.

They have bought Albertsons, will be interesting what this changes.

What you found is deplorable. I wouldn't put up with any possibilities other than the reality they added a new date. And agree corporate should be shown this.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 8:22AM
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That would really pi$$ me off! If it weren't so inconvenient I'd be marching those cookies right back to the store, but of course they know you won't do that. I'd sure take the package back and do exactly what you plan to do by letting corporate know too. And as others have suggested, let your local TV know and also let the local/state consumer protection advocate know about it.

We don't have Safeway but we do have Publix, Kroger and a few other chains. Publix has a 'bakery' that sells fresh bread and cakes. Their bread is baked on-site, but I don't know if they use the frozen dough maire cate is talking about. I don't buy it often but it is good. Someone told me that Kroger's meats are pre-packed in Memphis, and they do very little except re-package some of it to meet the customer's needs.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 9:47AM
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Yes, I know that the bakery items are baked off-site. I am going to visit the other large chain here and check and see if I spot any duplicate labels!

    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 10:00AM
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My son is a manager for one of Safeways other companies. They do not recycle cookies or the boxes as far as I know.

It is more likely some one picked up a pricing gun started labeling them and did not realize that the date code was wrong and then corrected the date on the label maker.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 10:07AM
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That would disgust me. I rarely shop at our local Safeway as I typically go to Trader Joe's and Fresh Market. If I need to go a regular grocery store, I have a Giant that is closest so I rarely go to Safeway. Plus I avoid Safeway b/c they *never* have enough lines open and I usually only go there when I'm in a rush and need just one or two things and happen to be driving by. Dh and I have a running argument b/c it never fails that there is one lane open, no express lane open and there is no self checkout and I'm always behind people with full carts. He never seems to have this problem, so I've resorted to taking pictures sometimes for him to believe me!

The last time I was there, I was tasked last minute with bringing cupcakes to a sports team party that was held at least a week after Memorial Day. They had a variety of cupcakes in including some that were decorated with red, white and blue sprinkles that had been marked down. When I asked the girl behind the counter if those had been left over from the holiday weekend she said yes. GROSS - stale, week old cupcakes. Nice. I ended up getting cupcakes elsewhere.

I would most definitely bring this to the attention of the manager and ask what their policy is but I'd also complain to their corporate office.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 11:22AM
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My pet peeve with Safeway is their packaged ground beef. It's all packaged off site and it's impossible to find a 1 lb package, it's all 1.35 or something similar. Other stores sell exact one pound but not Safeway. It forces people to buy more than they want or need.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2014 at 2:03AM
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I have to get groceries the next town over since we no longer have a store. I go to United, which is now owned by Safeway. I love it. They butcher their own beef and always have someone in the meat department on hand to cut a steak for me. Of course we're in cattle country which explains the good meat.

However....It's another story when it comes to their processed meats and salads. We love Reesers Ham Salad, but most of the time it's expired. I get so angry! I did say something about it years ago, before Safeway bought the franchise, so I think this is a managerial problem because this United now Safeway but still called United has had the same manager all these years. :)

I would talk to the manager first before you take it further.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2014 at 10:15AM
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I think Safeway is Vons where I live- I don't like the over one pound packages of ground beef either. But my pet peeve is how they sell soda. 3 12-packs for 9.99, but if you just want one, you have to pay 6.99 or something.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2014 at 10:27AM
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Well, here's the response I got from Safeway.....

"As always, if you find that you are not satisfied with any product, please feel free to bring the product back to the store with your receipt for an exchange or refund."

Do you think they missed the point?!!! lol....

Time to shop elsewhere....

    Bookmark   August 19, 2014 at 8:46AM
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Suggest to them that they donate expired food to homeless shelters and food pantries.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2014 at 8:50AM
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Unfortunately, not all food pantries take expired food. My mother volunteers at a food pantry and hers will not accept expired food. Anything on their shelves that has gone past the expired date is thrown out unfortunately. My mother occasionally will bring something home from the pantry b/c she can't bear to see it thrown out. Coincidentally, on Sunday, she gave me a jar of peanut butter that expired two weeks ago. I'm using it for my dog's Kong.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2014 at 11:30AM
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Joanie, this is exactly why I said to call your local TV stations consumer hotline. This store, and it's management, knows what they are doing. Have the local TV investigator take it from here. They love stuff like this.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2014 at 12:01PM
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I suspect someone forgot to change the date on their machine. My SIL retired from Safeway and she says it is very easy to do and it takes too much time to peel off the labels.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2014 at 10:54PM
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