Safeway’s Turkey Is A Dodo

Doug bought a pre-packaged “fresh” meal from Safeway for $37.99, but arrived home to find most of the items expired.

“So if I were thinking of buying a pre-packaged dinner, Safeway is NOT the place I’d go ever again,” says Doug.

Indeed, this is gross and you should return the items to the store and ask for a refund. Bring along the pictures you provided to us and we posted inside.

Next time, however, check the expiration dates before you enter the checkout line. They’re there to protect you. Use ’em. &mdash BEN POPKEN

    “I have a rant about Safeway Grocery store and their “pre-packaged” meals.

    My wife and I bought a Turkey dinner today for $37.99 that was supposedly prepared fresh for home serving.

    When we got home several of the items were EXPIRED. The Turkey itself had a big orange sticker that said it was OK for sale through January but the fine print on the Turkey said to use by December 2nd or December 21st… either way, that’s gross.

    And the “fresh” dinner rolls were labels for sale by November 22nd.

    Unfortunately everything else has cryptic codes for dates and we can’t tell how old the food is.

    So if I were thinking of buying a pre-packaged dinner, Safeway is NOT the place I’d go ever again.




Edit Your Comment

  1. feralparakeet says:

    Why the hell would you buy a pre-packaged dinner at a grocery store anyway? Doesn’t your wife cook? If not, why’d you marry her?

    Joking aside, seriously – go to Boston Market if you want to drop $40 on a turkey dinner. You’d be much happier. And you wouldn’t have moldy bread.

  2. levenhopper says:

    you know, suprisingly, costco has great pre-made dinners. and they make them in a kitchen with windows right where the food is out for purchace, so you know it’s fresh

  3. SexCpotatoes says:

    okay, the date on the rolls, (I work in a commercial bakery) is a sell by date. The grocery store should not have sold you the rolls past that date, but that does not mean the product is no longer good. Usually unsold merchandise, as it gets closer to the ‘sell by’ date is returned to the manufacturer and winds up in the bread “thrift store.” I buy all my bread and buns and such at the local one just up the street from my house.

    There is nothing wrong with that bread/rolls. I’ve had bread last for around two weeks past the sell by date, with nary a trace of mold. The reason why some people have a “bread box” basically, is to have a little dark places to keep your bread out of the light, and insulated from temperature changes. The fridge works for this sometimes, but may be too humid.

    Anyway, you wouldn’t believe the chemicals and stuff that goes into the bread when the mixers are making it to make it last longer. “Anti-mold agent” is one of those ingredients that goes into all the bread and buns that the factory bakery produces. The night or day we make them, the buns get dated for up to 2 weeks later (depending on the product) and the company line is that they are good for at least a week or so after the sell by date.

    I cannot speak for the meat side of the equation, but you have nothing to fear from the bread.

  4. FLConsumer says:

    Am I the only one who noticed that Safeway (and the submitter) use consumer-tracking “savings” cards? Worse, the person used one of these cards AND their own credit card, so now Safeway (and whoever they sell their info to) knows who exactly this person is and what they’ve purchased. Hope you’re not buying turkey basters, rubber gloves, and KY jelly in the same trip.

    As far as the meat goes, definitely should check the expiration dates before even putting the item in your shopping trolley. I usually try to snag food with the latest date.

    One other thing to watch out for is “modified atmosphere” meat. This is where they inject the packages with carbon monoxide (you know, the stuff which comes out of your car’s exhaust that kills you.) Hemoglobin has a much higher affinity for CO than CO2, thus will grab as much of it as possible, giving the modified meat a very pink/red appearance. By doing this, the meat will NEVER brown, even if it’s rotten. Quite a boon to manufacturers, but consumers won’t be able to tell if the meat was improperly handled in transport. Boycott/avoid buying meat at stores which allow modified meat.

    Off the top of my head, stores which DO NOT permit modified-atmosphere meat to be sold:

    Stores which DO sell modified meat:
    Wal-mart (no surprise here)

  5. jgodsey says:

    good idea to tell them to bring pictures. taking digital images of all the little injustices are one way to freak out corporate America. Last time i got a bad item i took a picture of it and JUST sent the picture in. I got a 2 dollar off from the supermarket – big deal – but THEY passed it along to the manufacturer who sent me $10 AND a letter of apology. the letter was worth all the trouble.

  6. Ben Popken says:

    Phil writes:

    “Safeway’s can sometimes be crappy but their customer service seems to
    be cool (1-877-723-3929), at least with me.

    My free cup of Starbucks after the seventh purchase at their store didn’t scan right twice so I called customer service. They apologized, fixed my card and added seven credits which instantly gave me a free coffee on my next visit. And once when I ordered home delivery I thought eight items were missing items. I called and they apologized, gave me no problem and credited the amount towards my next delivery, no questions asked. After I called I found they had delivered the items and I had just put the bag on the floor next to the counter and overlooked it when unpacking my groceries. If they had been rude about it I would have said nothing but since they were so nice when I reported the items missing I called back and told them it was my mistake. Even then they said no problem, we all make mistakes sometimes!!!

    How come Doug just didn’t take the stuff back. If Doug wasn’t going to eat it anyway it wasn’t delaying the meal anymore than it already had been.”

  7. Hirayuki says:

    Where are you seeing bread or rolls? That’s turkey in them thar photos.

  8. Hirayuki says:

    Oh, I see–the fastener in the topmost pic is attached to a bag of rolls. Never mind, then.

    Still, you do have to be very careful when checking your expiration dates. It’s too bad the store had conflicting info on their food–that’s what screwed you.

  9. kerry says:

    Hey FLConsumer –
    Do you know if all Albertson’s family stores have that policy, or only ones that carry the Albertson’s name? We have Jewel out here, which is owned by Albertson’s, and I’d like to know if I can feel a bit safer about the meat there than at Dominick’s (a Safeway store). Generally I don’t trust any large chain stores for fresh food, but you can’t shop local all the time.

  10. acambras says:

    Kerry — Albertson’s also owns Shaws, which is found here in New England. The meat department at my local Shaws sucks — every time I’m looking for something in particular, they’re either out of it or whatever they have looks yucky.

  11. FLConsumer says:

    Kerry, that’s a good question. To be honest, I’m not sure. You’d probably have to call up their corporate office to find out…. if they’d bother to call you back. Some of the stores are a bit touchy on the subject.

    A few more for this list:
    Stores which DON’T allow modified atmosphere packaging:
    Super-Saver & Russ Markets

    Stores which DO allow modified meat packaging:
    Hy-Vee (they admit to doing it, but refuse to post any notice on the packaging of it)
    D’Agostino markets
    Morton Williams

    I also would like to post this quote from a Feb. NY Times article on the subject:

    “Michael Doyle, director of the Center for Food Safety at the University of Georgia, says one study found that when meat in modified packages that included carbon monoxide was stored at 10 degrees above the proper temperature, salmonella grew more easily.”

  12. honestdc says:

    I worked for Safeway for quite a few years and learned that when people come into shop, they do not understand that the workers are only human and make mistakes just as often as the people who come in and demand perfection. It is not right that the food was expired by any means, but to go to this kind of length to make a point is very disappointing and to see that manager’s name and # at the top of the receipt mixed in with the harsh words makes me sad. Because I know that store is awesome in every way possible.