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CBS 2 Investigation: Expired Food On Store Shelves

In Uncategorized on September 5, 2008 at 11:22 am


Giant N.J. Food Chains Caught On Camera With Violations; Garden State A.G. Poised To Lower The Boom

Reporting
Kirstin Cole

RIDGEWOOD, N.J. (CBS) ― A typical basket of 100 grocery items costs nearly 6 percent more than it did in January.

Paying such a premium you’d expect to get the very best, but routinely stores are cited for selling expired goods.

In a hidden camera report, CBS 2 HD investigated who’s minding the stores where you go to shop.

Parents are trying to buy only the best for their baby, trusting it’s fresh and safe.

CBS 2 HD found anything but lining the shelves of this Ridgewood, N.J. King’s supermarket last week as we pulled jar after jar of expired Gerber’s baby food for purchase. One applesauce was 15 months past is expiration date. We notified the store and checked at another King’s store in Midland Park, only to find managers directing a hasty operation to yank more expired baby food.

CBS 2 HD: “You’re pulling a lot?” (store manager)

Store manager: “All that.”

But Kings is not the only culprit. New Jersey Attorney General Anne Milgram is coming down hard on retailers she says are ripping off customers — with three lawsuits filed. Target, Wal-Mart and Drug Fair are each accused of being a repeat offender, selling expired products or overcharging at the register.

“There’s no question that they know what the law is in the state and that they promised to uphold the law,” said a spokesperson with the state Department of Consumer Affairs.

But Milgram charges they broke the law thousands of times by selling everything from expired baby formula to medicine and overcharging for other items.

CBS 2 HD: “We also did an investigation of our own. We found expired baby food at some New Jersey supermarkets. How would you categorize that?”

A.G. Milgram: “I think it’s unconscionable.”

While not the focus of this investigation, supermarkets are also inspected by the Department of Consumer Affairs. In 2007, Kings Supermarkets, which has 26 New Jersey locations, received a total of 275 violations.

“It’s just unacceptable to our company,” Kings spokesperson Cheryl Good said.

Good said they are now working hard to uphold the law.

“This is certainly a wake-up call and we’re going to take a look at these procedures,” Good said.

Each of the three chains is facing hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines, but that may be a drop in the bucket for these billion dollar corporations. If you find a price discrepancy or buy an expired product, file a complaint to have it investigated.
(© MMVIII, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.)

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  1. Stop and Shop in Ridgewood also sells expired goods. Just yesterday bought Mozzarella that had an expiration date Aug 18. When I took it back when to check the little basket (curiosity) MOST of them where expired.

  2. No doubt, some will use this story to declare (once again) the downfall of our “leafy little village”.

  3. Note to CBS – GET OUT!
    If you want to prop up your pathetic last place joke of a news division with sensationalized scare reporting to smear a town, go do it in another town, not mine.

    Note to Kings, Stop and Shop and all of the others – There is no excuse for this. Spend some of your profits to keep on top of your inventory or hire some better managers or employees who are on the ball and care.

    BTW, I’m sure the food was perfectly fine, but the law is the law. Past the date – don’t sell it. How about a little inventory managment so you can have a big sale the week before something expires, or maybe a little good PR where you can donate some of this stuff to food kitchens (the day before they expire) or send them to the troops or to the hurricane victims. C’mon. Get with the program – you know they do have computers that can track inventory now…

    Finally, this is not a health hazzard story (as CBS is sensationalizing it). It is a business story on lax or sloppy managment of inventory (but that story aint puttin’ eyeballs on the screen like a “Deadly Baby Food Being Sold in Upscale Community” story will!).

  4. Someone believes Kings is a billion dollar operation? This happens in all supermarkets-with thousands of items, things do get missed-so why only pick on Kings in the article? I find expired stuff in Shop Rite and Stop & Shop all the time too…can't people just look and bring it to someone's attention when that happens? I always do.

  5. Don’t get mad at the press. They’re reporting on this story because AG Anne Milgram had opened an investigation. Remember that pharmacies were selling expired over the counter drugs and that can be very dangerous. As for expired food, come on now. How hard could it be for a grocery store to better manage its inventory? Could be they didn’t have to because they were not made to pay closer attention. Obviously, neither did the shoppers.

  6. Re: “…Obviously, neither did the shoppers.
    …” (2:04PM)

    You mean the shoppers have a responsibility for themselves?

    What do we have the federal government for if I have to make sure that the food that I put in my own mouth and the mouths of my family is safe?

    Well, I guess I can always sue when I’m dead.

  7. to 2:04

    Don’t delude yourself (re: “Don’t get mad at the press. They’re reporting on this story because AG Anne Milgram had opened an investigation.”)

    The AG opens PLENTY of investigations that are NEVER covered in the press.

    The ONLY reason why they are doing this story is to try and boost ratings by sensationalizing it.

  8. What do we have the federal government for if I have to make sure that the food that I put in my own mouth and the mouths of my family is safe?

    2:33 — Geez, you libertarians are so simplistic. "FDA bad, big pharma & agribusiness good."

    The ONLY reason why they are doing this story is to try and boost ratings by sensationalizing it.

    2:36 – That's part of the business model for for-profit media companies — boost ratings & collect ad revenues. I guess you'd prefer a nationalist media only, like the Soviet Union.

  9. “Note to CBS – GET OUT!
    If you want to prop up your pathetic last place joke of a news division with sensationalized scare reporting to smear a town, go do it in another town, not mine.”

    What a shock: a Ridgewood resident with a smug NIMBY attitude.

  10. CBS will soon check the expiration date on GRAYDON POOL/POND .. You can’t read it at all…you don’t need to.

    Just look at it. And plan to go elsewhere soon.

  11. Will TV..20 minutes soon send cameras down to GRAYDON Pool to record that mud hole? Will they post the ingrediants by precentages too? And a note “not to ingest?

    ….

  12. The Graydon haters will post a response to any story. They aren’t even witty. Are you afraid that we will forget that you don’t like Graydon?

  13. what do you think only NJ politicians can be crooks ?

  14. 2:56 –

    Are you insane or do you just like spewing your viewpoints when they have no relevance to the discussion??

    1) RE: "2:33 — Geez, you libertarians are so simplistic. "FDA bad, big pharma & agribusiness good.""

    This has nothing to do with the FDA or big pharma or agribusiness. This has to do with lazy stock clerks and sloppy inventory management and CBS opportunistically twisting the story in an attempt to boost their ratings.

    2) Re: "2:36 – That's part of the business model for for-profit media companies — boost ratings & collect ad revenues. I guess you'd prefer a nationalist media only, like the Soviet Union."

    I’m not “AGAINST” CBS for doing anything they can to try to save themselves. I’m just calling them on the carpet for their cheap sensationalism and sending them packing and out of my town with their low rate antics. THAT is ALSO the American way.

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