Walmart Pulls Tainted Pet Food By Day, Restocks It By Night

Walmart is recalling tainted pet food during the day, only to restock it again at night. This egregious display of corporate ineptitude was detailed to The News & Observer by Walmart merchandise supervisor, Johnnie Walker.

Walker said he had removed the products earlier in the week, but clerks restocked the shelves overnight, unaware that the pet food had been recalled. “At night they didn’t know better,” Walker said. “It’s just confusing.”

Though the pet food recall has expanded to over 100 brands, Walmart has been unable to implement a recall strategy that extends beyond blocking the purchase of tainted items at the register. If your pet wants food, consider shopping somewhere other than Walmart. — CAREY GREENBERG-BERGER

Pet owners on quest for safe food [The News & Observer] (Thanks to John!)
(Photo: ayustety)

PREVIOUSLY: Signs Your Pet Ate Contaminated Food
Walmart’s Ailing Recall System
Recalled Pet Food Still On Walmart Shelves

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  1. d0x says:

    Working for Target I can say this shouldnt have happened. When something is recalled everything should be gathered up from the sales floor and backroom and placed in a specific area to be destroyed or sent back.

    Now Target has a system in its backroom where everything is located so you type in the DPCI(target upc) and it tells you where to go to get the item. Im not sure if Walmart has such a system but you would imagine any modern retail store would…how else would you find products you have in stock but not on the sales floor?

  2. puka_pai says:

    When there have been recalls at stores where I worked, there were specific instructions given as to how to process and/or store the recalled items. If it was a large enough item, one option was to put it in a shopping cart and tape an opened brown paper bag across the top, upon which was written (for example) “RECALL ITEMS DO NOT STOCK OR SELL!”

    Seems pretty simple to me. Somebody at Walmart just didn’t care and still won’t when some grief-stricken pet owner sues the shit out of them.

  3. scoobydoo says:

    If you want ANY kind of food, shop anywhere but Walmart. The Nazi t-shirt debacle showed Walmart is incapable of merchandise management.

    Its becoming more and more clear how they keep their prices this low…

  4. The Bigger Unit says:

    I used to work at a major brewery’s warehouse during night shifts.

    Instead of working I just drank the beers. Hey…I didn’t know better. It was the night shift.

  5. royal72 says:

    wasn’t walmart planning (if they haven’t already) a grocery store within walmart ala costco? there’s a disaster waiting to happen.

    “on sale: family bulk buy steaks only $9.88*”
    *may contain life threatening bacteria. eat at own risk.

  6. scoobydoo says:

    A Walmart grocery store in a walmart? You mean a “Super Walmart”? They already got 100’s of these.

    Or do you mean a wholesale grocery store owned by Walmart? Like Sams Club?

  7. Vyxar says:

    Its not as big a deal you make it out to be, stuff on the sales floor DOES get pulled, but its up to employees to pull it.

    In the case of the dog food, pallets of that stuff is stocked in backroom to return, they all have signs that say NOT FOR SALE or the like. So if it was put back up, it was by a moron worker. Sure blame the evil walmart for some stupid worker. Its easier to do that..go ahead.

    Same with Nazi shirt, etc with whatever does not get pulled. over 1.7million employees you expect all of them to have reason and common sense? Welcome to retail.

  8. Scazza says:

    @royal72: They are everywhere, canada has like 15 too, they are hideous imo… really crap stuff…

  9. tozmervo says:

    @royal72: I wanna know where you live that you’ve managed to avoid Supercenters. I’ve not even seen a regular Wal-Mart in years. According to wikipedia, there are 2200 Supercenters, over twice as many as the regular stores.

    But, as you supposed, they are pretty much a disaster.

  10. Michael Bauser says:

    I used to work with some pretty stupid night stockboys when I worked retail (at a small chain in Michigan, nobody national). I became notorious for leaving large signs on back room merchandise that said things like “Do not touch this, dammit!” Rude, but they worked.

    That said, I’m really frightened that Walmart has workers dumber than their usual dayshift morons.

  11. jgodsey says:

    does this come as a surprised?
    we have already established they can’t take ONE item off the freaking shelves.

    i am just glad it’s not a baby formula recall.

  12. reeg2 says:

    while it’s pretty stupid that they can’t get a handle on this recall, you’d still be hard pressed to buy this pet food at walmart. by blocking the sale at the register, you’re limiting any legitimate chances of this product getting out to virtually nothing, i would think.

  13. jwissick says:

    Just wait till it is a baby formula recall…. it will be the end of walmart when people buy it after it is recalled and walmart cant get it off the shelves.

  14. É®îç says:

    Did the News and Observer interview store clerk Jack Daniels, store manager Jim Beam, and regional adviser Evan Williams?

    As much as I would like to trust the News & Observer, I’ll refrain from bashing Wal-Mart at this time.

  15. shanoaravendare says:

    As a previous employee of Wal-Mart I can tell you, the back rooms are a mess. Especially since they got rid of the layaway department.

    And saying that the register lockout on the sale will prevent it getting out of the store isn’t exactly accurate. I know some employees at other Wal-Marts where the management has overridden a lockout on items, including the recalled pet food early on.

    The late shift workers probably didn’t know the reason for the food being put back because they weren’t at the store meeting where it was discussed. If you miss one of those, and they don’t make any attempt to ensure that you go, you can miss major policy changes and not know about it until you are in violation of it. It happened to me twice.

  16. guice says:

    Get pet food at a pet store, simple as that. I buy my cats’ food at PetsMart or PETCO.

  17. catnapped says:

    See a few of you already caught the gist of the problem–THE EMPLOYEES CAN’T READ! Even cursing the employees out on some paper bags taped over a shopping cart full of recalled can food won’t work if they can’t understand what it says (heck, a few of them probably think it’s some sort of cute gift wrapping from the store manager!).

    An even worse thought–what if those illegals they have cleaning the floors at night are the ones stocking them?

  18. TheTruth530 says:

    i can tell you right now this story is completely bogus. when walmart pulled all the recalled pet food (or any recalled merchandise for that matter) it is stored in their claims area (on the opposite side of the back room from the pets overstock area)and marked “Recall Merchandise DO NOT RETURN TO SALES FLOOR.” furthermore there is no “Merchandise Supervisor” position for Mr. “Johnie Walker” to have in the first place.

    like i said before this is completely fake story backed by union propaganda funds.

  19. latemodel says:

    I thought most all grocery store stocking was done individual product distributors because most items in the store are actually on consignment. I worked for a cookie company in high school and my job was to go to all the stores and stock the item, accept returns, and collect a check for the items sold. On the few occasions I been to a Walmart and saw grocery stockers working, none had the blue Walmart apron.

  20. Bowden316 says:

    I;m not sure which is more hilarious, the fact that the people who read this story actually believed it, or the fact that although you seem to be bashing Wal-Mart you have all obviously been shopping there.
    Maybe before you make statements about the stupidity of a multi-billion dollar company you shoud find out the facts. One, the name you gave for merchandise supervisor(not a title used in Wal-Mart) is incorrect. Two, the recall was taken seriously by all Wal-Mart to the point that all the stores were spot checked by senior supervisors and the food was not for resale.
    If you had talked to anyway who actually knows what is going on, you would realize what utter morons you are for believing this hogwash.

  21. Seandals says:

    I work for Safeway where the Priority brand is our private label. When word of the recall came down, all of the product was removed from the shelf and boxed up and put on our salvage return truck and returned to the warehouse. Safeway’s warehouses automatically lock out the order codes so the product cannot be reordered. In the case of Wal-Mart, I would blame the night stockers. Wouldn’t you think that something was going on if almost an entire section of pet food that you stocked the night before, was completly empty when you came back to work the next day?

  22. tozmervo says:

    @latemodel: While I can’t speak for Wal-Mart specifically, a very small percentage of a grocery store is stocked directly by vendors like Coke & Pepsi, Nabisco, Pepperidge Farm, and Lays. In fact, that pretty much covers it. Snacks (less store-brand and candy) and Soft Drinks (less store-brand) make up the bulk of vendor stock. There are other random brands and dailies, like Mayfield and breads usually stocked by local vendors, too.

  23. ngwoo says:

    “If your pet wants food, consider shopping somewhere other than Walmart.”

    Or, use a thing called “common sense”. The pet food recall is plastered all over the news, so just don’t buy the food. Instead of attacking Walmart for this, attack the 17-year-old stockboy who can’t read labels properly.

  24. tph says:

    Guys….Johnnie Walker works for walmart now?

    I knew that whiskey sales were suffering, but you wouldn’t think he’d have sunk so low.

  25. racerfan says:

    Speaking of WalMart, what happened to the post titled The People Who Spin For Walmart, that I saw on this site earlier this morning. I sent the link to some friends, but they told me the link re-directed them back to the index page. I followed up, and they were correct. The post and link disappeared very quickly.

    Consumerist get another DMCA notice from WalMart?

    The URL was http://consumerist.com/consumer/walmart/the-people-who-spi

    I’m trying like heck to locate a cached copy on my computer, but so far no luck.

  26. rginn says:

    As to the pet-food recall: I am a Wal-Mart assistant manager. I am in charge of consumables, which includes the pets department. I don’t know what a Wal-Mart merchandise supervisor is. The name Johnnie Walker would be almost as cool to have as Jack Daniels. You apparently wish to provoke some type of comment, and I shall oblige. When the recalls came up I immediately got with my Dept. 8 manager and brought her up to date. Unlike Mr. Scotch, excuse me ‘Walker’ I talked with my overnight support manager and overnight stockers and kept them updated on the recalls, as some of the items I pulled off the shelf showed that they were in transit to our store. Every day, every hour, the department manager and I checked our E-mail, as the recalls came fast and furious for a while. I talked with cashiers and CSM’s, who also check recalls daily, and made sure they were up to date. I told the CSM’s I would refund ANY pet food that was brought in, regardless of whether it was on the recall list. I made it VERY clear there was to be NO overide at the registers on pet food. And there hasn’t been. And I have refunded on pet food that was by no stretch of the imagination related to the recall, no questions asked, but it made the customer feel better. But, as I tell my employees, all Wal-Marts are not the same. If you have a problem with one, raise hell all the way to the home office. And all you all can come to my store in Frisco CO and shop with me, because unlike most Wal-Mart management, I still look at Wal-Mart from the viewpoint of a customer.