I haven't posted here much recently since smoking a few ribs and shoulders over the summer. However, this weekend here in Boston was going to be in the 80's so I decided to give another pork butt shoulder a try. I went to what I thought was my "trusted source" of BJ's Wholesale Club to pick up an 8-lb butt.
I thought to myself, hey....it's only $1.09 a lb, what a deal! I picked up an 8-lb piece and immediately took it home to begin the rub process. My g/f ended up opening the package to discover a strange, funky smell coming from the meat. Yep, it was bad.....and I have the evidence to prove exactly why it was bad and how BJ's could really hurt others with their uuhhmm "policy" of putting new dates on meat.
I was going to rub the meat the night before and it was after 10 PM when I started and BJ's had already closed. This was Saturday night so we woke up the next day and decided to immediately take it back after looking over the evidence in front of us. What had happend was, on the vaccum sealed wrapper itself had a date of USE BY SEPTEMBER 26, 2007. Thankfully, we had saved both the cryovac and the receipt so we had evidence of when it was purchased (October 6th), when they said it was going to be good for (until October 11th??) and the date of Sept. 26th on the cryovac packaging.
Selling NON-FROZEN meat 10 days later is not only unsafe, but immoral and can really hurt your customers! On top of that, we bought this when the date on the BJ's sticker had been changed to say it was good for another FIVE DAYS! I can't imagine what this could have smelled like another few days out....
So Sunday morning we get to BJ's about 10 AM, throw the meat on the counter, say that it was purchased just the night before and dare the customer service lady to smell the meat that was double-bagged. She's like, "no need, I can smell it from here"! So we give her the story and as my g/f is explaining the situation and promptly getting a cash refund, I head back to the section where this was purchased just to check out the dates on the OTHER butts in the case. I couldn't believe what I witnessed.....EVERY butt in the case was expired! Ok, I shouldn't say everyone because at least a 1/4 of them had the BJ's sticker COVERING UP the cryovac use-by date! So who knows what was under that sticker, it could have been an older date for all I know. The lady up front got the butchers on the case quick and immediately began pulling them from the shelves. Aha! Not before I was able to take the picture of evidence below on my camera phone. Remember, we had opened ours at home so I didn't have as clear of a picture of all the labels as I did on one that hadn't been opened yet. I circled each date so it would be easier for you to find.
I would appreciate you pass this info onto your friends and neighbors in case this is a widely accepted practice in other BJ's stores. I can understand that it is the end of the season here in Boston and that it may be hard to move the product after Labor Day but I don't believe BJ's should be putting the health of their customers on the back burner to increase their bottom line.
I am in the process of writing a letter to the corporate office and including my pictoral evidence of all of this. They are lucky they are hearing from me and not us talking through lawyers if we ended up eating that meat and getting very sick. I wanted to make sure the people mostly buying the product were aware of this first. BE WARY is all I can say.....