Safeway Takes Rusty Nails In Your Bread Seriously

WHO: Safeway
WHAT: Just before making grilled cheese sandwiches for her family, woman finds rusty nails in her loaf of bread.
WHERE: Woman finds nail in loaf of bread [Contra Costa Times]
THE QUOTE: “We have been in contact with the customer… She was satisfied that we were taking this seriously and investigating the issue.”
BONUS QUOTE: “I’m frustrated by the lack of information they’ve given me about what they’re trying to do to determine where the nail came from or make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

(Thanks to DoIReallyNeedAUserName!)


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  1. The Great Aussie Evil says:

    My best guess: Construction was happening around the bread making machine and the nail dropped into the dough…

  2. UpsetPanda says:

    Mm…more fiber.

  3. Dead Wrestlers Society says:

    Safeway has a lunch special now:

    any 6 inch sub and a tetanus shot : $4.99

  4. chiieddy says:

    Website link requires login :(

  5. nrwfos says:

    Well, a little more iron in our food wouldn’t hurt…as long as we’ve had our tetanus shots.

  6. Ben Popken says:

    Woman finds nail in loaf of bread
    DANVILLE: County inspector says fastener came from pallet used during transport
    By Lea Blevins

    Article Launched: 01/16/2008 02:57:15 AM PST

    Imagine eating a sandwich — but instead of biting into a gooey grilled cheese or a creamy PB&J, your teeth hit a rusty nail.

    Luckily, Danville resident Kristin Lineberry found the nail before making her family grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner. But that does not make her a happy camper.

    “You just don’t expect to be making a sandwich for your child and find a nail in the bread,” said Lineberry, a mother of three who purchased the loaf from Safeway on Camino Tassajara in Danville.

    In the afternoon of Jan. 3, Lineberry opened the Safeway brand 100 percent whole-wheat loaf and used two slices to make her 6-year-old son a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. That evening, she took out four slices for dinner and was alarmed to find a rusted nail tucked into a piece of bread.

    “The nail’s so big, at first I thought it was a worm or something,” she said. “We just stared at it in shock.”

    She promptly took the loaf back to the store, where she spoke with a manager who refunded the price of the bread and offered the family a free half-gallon of ice cream, Lineberry said. The family noticed the bag had a slit in its side, leading the manager to think it likely came from a pallet used during transport, she said.

    But ice cream was not going to settle her worries, especially because the manager seemed “nonchalant” about the incident. She left her name and number at the store and got a call the next day from an on-site customer service manager asking her to fill out a

    She filled out the report Jan. 7 and was told that someone from the corporate office would call her back that day. Lineberry did not receive another call from Safeway until two days later. The call came from a risk manager at the corporate office who offered Lineberry a $75 money order to make up for the incident, but to receive the money Lineberry would have to sign a waiver stating she would not take legal action, she said.

    At this point, she is not seeking to file a lawsuit, but she did not accept the money because she has not determined her next step.

    “My goal here is not to get money off Safeway,” she said.

    Safeway spokeswoman Sherry Reckler said that the company is investigating the issue internally and could not comment further other than to say the occurrence was an “anomaly.”

    “We have been in contact with the customer,” Reckler said. “She was satisfied that we were taking this seriously and investigating the issue.”

    But Lineberry said she was unsatisfied by Safeway’s overall customer service and feeling left in the dark.

    “I’m frustrated by the lack of information they’ve given me about what they’re trying to do to determine where the nail came from or make sure it doesn’t happen again,” she said.

    Lineberry called in a complaint to Contra Costa County’s Environmental Health Department, which sent an inspector to the Danville store Friday.

    The inspector determined that the nail did indeed come from a pallet, said Richard Lee, assistant director of the department.

    “The package looked like it had the puncture,” he said.

    The pallets come from a plant in Richmond, so the complaint has been turned over to the state’s Food and Drug Branch, which oversees the site.

    As for Lineberry, she has stopped shopping at Safeway.

  7. UpsetPanda says:
  8. MercuryPDX says:

    @JD: No…. IRON… more IRON. :)

  9. bnb614 says:

    Shit happens. Accidents happen. Nails come off a pallet. Doesn’t that woman have anything better to do they make a federal case out if it? They offered her more than the price of the loaf of bread and apologized and followed up with her. What are they supposed to do, call her every hour with an update?

    Thankfully no one was hurt by the nail or it would be a different issue but this seems to be a non-issue to me.

  10. Sherryness says:

    As a former employee of the risk managment department of a large grocery store chain whose name’s first letter falls within the last 9 letters of the alphabet, I can tell you two things.

    First, their bakery plant has powerful, powerful magnets on the sides of the conveyor belt that the finished product passes by before it’s packed onto a pallet.

    So if there is any metal in the bread, even as small as a tiny screw, the loaf will come flying off the conveyor belt. So it’s highly unlikely anyone will ever find metal in their bread that came from processing.

    The second thing is that the store manager offered her some ice cream to appease her – and I’ve seen far worse claims and complaints come in over what’s been found in people’s ice cream!

  11. TheBigLewinski says:

    Most food processing companies run their food past big magnetsjust before final bagging/sealing to eliminate the possibility of metal shavings showing up in their product. It is highly unlikely that the nail came from the manufacturing facility.

  12. forever_knight says:

    oh safeway. how you should really learn from your mistakes….

  13. darkclawsofchaos says:

    @mercurypdx: yep and possibly a tiny bit of zinc

  14. @Ben Popken:

    She left her name and number at the store and got a call the next day from an on-site customer service manager asking her to fill out a Advertisement report.

    Are they really going to use that in their advertisements?

  15. Trauma_Hound says:

    This women is just after money.

  16. MickeyMoo says:

    Will the Contra Costa County CPS be investigating Kristin Lineberry for feeding her kids bread from Safeway? 100% whole wheat or not, the torn wrapper and nail would be tastier (and likely more nutritious) than the bread contained within.

  17. humorbot says:

    When I was eight years old, my mother discovered a crescent wrench embedded in a Sara Lee pound cake, purchased at the local Safeway. It was perfectly hidden; you’d never know the thing was there unless you cut into the cake. We didn’t sue. If I recall correctly, Sara Lee shipped us a replacement cake.

  18. @humorbot: But more importantly, what did you do with the wrench? That’s a great story for whenever you pull the wrench out.

  19. DAK says:

    That’s nothing. I’ve seen cashiers go to scan packages of meat and have blood (pork, even!) spill out on to the scanner. But hey, at least they cleaned it up with a paper towel. Disinfectant would have been going overboard.

  20. forgottenpassword says:

    Why do these managers ALWAYS offer something paltry like a free replacement or something else of roughly the same value? I am suprised he didnt whip out the standard “release of liability form” & offer her a substancial “reward” for bringing this to his attention.

    Its kind of a slap in the face to offer a half gallon of icecream to comphensate her family (who ate part of the tainted bread before realizing it was tainted). I’d prefer the hush money.

  21. cmdr.sass says:

    I know bread is fortified with iron, but this is ridiculous!

  22. forgottenpassword says:


    oh…. they later offered her $75.

    $75 is not enough to keep MY mouth shut.

  23. Dibbler says:


    Got that right. Non issue.

    Maybe they need to give her a job at the plant. She could be in charge of rusty nail inspection.

  24. Imaginary_Friend says:

    These companies are so stupid. All they need to do to mollify these angry customers is to apologize — and act like they mean it. Follow that apology up with a quick phone call updating the customer on what’s being done to correct the situation, another call when the situation has actually been corrected, and a nice, fat freebie – like a generous store gift certificate.

    Believe it or not, most people don’t want a lawsuit; they just want to know that your company won’t try to kill their kids with rusty nails in their vittles.

    How hard is it to step away from the corporate script and simply do the right thing? Geez.

  25. girly says:

    Here’s what I don’t get. It sounds like all they said is take 75 bucks and don’t sue us. It sounds like it wasn’t money to silence her.

    So if she didn’t care about money it sounds like she could have taken the 75 bucks and then tipped off the media about this for pure concern.

  26. m4ximusprim3 says:

    @Imaginary_Friend: Oh, how we wish it was that easy.

    The problem is that apologies imply that you’re assuming guilt, which means you could assume liability. The second you apologize, the lady hits you in the space behind your right ass cheek.

    It sucks too, because most of us just want an apology. But that one in a hundred f**ks us all over.

  27. rjhiggins says:

    They apologized, they offered her $75 to show they were sorry, but somehow that’s not enough. What, she wants them to get down on their knees and beg for forgiveness?

  28. GreatCaesarsGhost says:

    We got a dead spider plus web in a bag of Herr’s chips. They gave us a couple free bags, and a mailer to send the spider back! I’m sure it was to destroy the evidence, but at the time (I was 5) I was bewildered that they wanter it back.

    Sad that the little fella was alive when we got in there. He was even trying to catch some vittles.

  29. UpsetPanda says:

    You know, now that I read it again, all of you have got it all wrong..Safeway was protecting her family from using their quality bread product to make a grilled cheese sandwich, a very unhealthy meal which, when eaten, brings happiness and comfort, like mac n’ cheese or a good bowl of chicken noodle soup (but not pea, because that contains insects).

  30. lovelygirl says:

    Oh my goodness… that so reminds me of Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle and how the meat was processed and just.. ugh! If this isn’t a hoax like the whole Wendy’s finger-in-the-chilli thing, I hope she gets some legal satisfaction!

  31. UpsetPanda says:

    @lovelygirl: But this was nails in a bag of bread, not unsanitary meat processing. That’s a real nightmare. This…nails in bread. If you pull out bread slices and don’t notice rusty nails, and bite into them, you’re blind.

  32. wenderyears says:

    What the article didn’t say is that her son did have a sandwich made with the bread (before she found the nail) and he did get sick. Was puking and stuff. Could be a coincidence. Who knows? All Safeway needed to do was show a little concern about the incident – that they were sorry and they would investigate the situation to be sure it didn’t happen again. But instead, they offered her some ice cream and then didn’t call her when they said they would. That’s just bad customer service. If you found a rusty nail in your purse from Nordstrom they would have probably flown you on a jet to their flagship store for an unlimited shopping spree.

  33. Blue says:

    @Aussie-Evil: On the line and right before packaging the bread passes through a metal detector. Must of happened between the Bakery and the Cashier.

  34. LilKoko says:

    Most of the time, people like this lady alert the store or whatever because they don’t want other people hurt. She knows she wasn’t hurt or traumatized. She wasn’t trying to get anything out of it. This lady was trying to help other people. Imagine that!

    Imagine if a blind person had eaten bitten into that enbreadened nail. Talk about lawsuit!

    If she was trying to scam the company or get a windfall she would have staged a slip-and-fall or something in the supermarket aisle.

    It saddens me that too many people are so corrupt they don’t understand how anyone else can be good.

  35. Balisong says:

    @Aussie-Evil: My first thought at that was of major construction next to the bakery building and of nails flying hundreds of feet through the air and windows and across streets… It’s been a long day.

    @Blue: Not necessarily – there was that recent story about metal filings in (I think) Sara Lee.

  36. heinzs says:


    “Why do these managers ALWAYS offer something paltry like a free replacement or something else of roughly the same value? I am suprised he didnt whip out the standard “release of liability form” & offer her a substancial “reward” for bringing this to his attention.

    Its kind of a slap in the face to offer a half gallon of icecream to comphensate her family (who ate part of the tainted bread before realizing it was tainted). I’d prefer the hush money.”

    Oh, get over yourself already. The store manager was acting in good faith – he thanked her for bringing it to the store’s attention, refunded her for the price of the bread, gave her family some ice cream, then notified his/her supervisor about the incident. What else do you want the manager to do?

  37. XianZomby says:

    Here’s an amusing Google search about those who take things seriously: []

  38. hossfly says:

    As a store director for a small chain of food stores, i can add this:
    The store did not manufacture/produce the item in question.
    Does that make the store/chain a bad place to shop?
    I would certainly think not, unless it’s a recurring problem.
    Did the store associate handle the situation correctly?
    Probably not; however, this type of situation is VERY sensitive as people react differently to a given situation.
    Any situation where something is mass-produced/manufactured, things will happen.
    The ‘difference’ between stores/chains lies with the proper training of associates on how to deal with situations such as this.
    Could the associate handled it different?
    Sure, but how can you say how for every given stituation?
    What might make you happy might offend the one right behind you.
    How can you tell if the person simply wants the item replaced, or is looking for that $5,000….$10,000 so-you-will-go-away pay-off and we don’t spend $50,000 in legal fees in court situation?
    Hmmmm…..make the customer happy!!!

  39. dantsea says:

    Drama queen and bad consumer, she’s making every histrionic quote she can to the media about this. I think there’d be less media coverage and hand-waving if someone found slivers of The One True Cross[tm] in her loaf of wonderbread. Definitely on the hunt for cash.

  40. Amelia Subverxin says:

    I used to work for a grocery store about ten years ago, and I remember chasing after the bread delivery guy because every loaf that came in his shipment had slashed packaging. Turns out that his box cutter was just a little too sharp and right through the cardboard box and into the first row of loaves. They take all this care in the production but things get screwy with the delivery.

    The store manager probably handled it well, but it sounds like the next person up the chain of command blew it.

  41. cuiusquemodi says:

    @Sherryness: I wonder if all baking-factories have the same flying bread, electromagnet setup. I would think that a standard-issue metal detector set to detect anything with more metal than the twist tie would do the same job, especially since the TSA always seems to pick up on the non-ferrous coins I accidentally leave in my pocket

  42. robertseaton says:

    Uh yeah…I am not going to say who I work for or what I do…but…

    1. Person at the store followed procedures in place. There is an immeditate reporting process in place to alert everyone that is needed to identify any systemic issues (i.e. to alert the manf. so they can initiate a recall if needed).
    2. Those follow up calls come from someone outside the store that is trained to handle these delicate situations.
    3. Often times these products are manafactured by a third party and then packaged with a store’s private label. In those cases the store can pass any liablility straight back to the manafacturer. That is why stores will apologize for any inconvience in good faith (by replacing product/issuing a refund), but will not comment further. There is no way for store personel to know who is truly at fault. There are ways to “settle” with customers at store level…but they are minimal at best.

  43. robertseaton says:

    and yes…spelling is not my forte on that last post.

  44. Kierst_thara says:

    The ‘apology=liability’ thing seems like a cop-out to me. Maybe it’s because I’m Canadian, but I apologize all the time for things that aren’t directly my fault. It’s just a way of showing compassion/empathy. If I tell someone my cat passed away, and they say “Oh, I’m so sorry”, it doesn’t mean they killed my cat.

    It’d be a pretty flimsy case to take a company to court with only an apology for evidence.

  45. Draneor says:

    I sort of feel sorry for Safeway here. Random things happen, you know? I think it is unreasonable to demand or expect perfection. Now, if every other loaf of bread from Safeway had a nail in it, then I could see why people would be upset. One incident is not indicative of a widespread problem. I think the only reasonable thing the manager could have done would be to offer a refund and apologize for the inconvenience.

    On a side note, why would anyone buy a loaf of bread whose packaging was damaged? I think part of the duty of a good customer is to inspect and know what one is buying.

  46. UX4themasses says:

    @Dantc: Agreed. She wanted more money and didn’t get it and is clearly showing the signs of missed monetary expectations.

  47. chiieddy says:

    @JD: That wasn’t the point :)