Okay, so at the beginning of December I went to Wal-mart to pick up some Gerber Organic baby food for my then 6 month old. I had never had an issue with the baby food there so I didn’t think twice about it. I brought it home and attempted to feed P some for dinner. He refused to eat it. It was a new type of food so I figured it would just take him a little while to get used to, no big deal.
The next night I go to the gym and my husband is responsible for feeding P dinner. He sends me a text message and says….“Do you know this baby food expired 6 months ago?” UH, WHAT?! The expiration date on that baby food was MAY 2012. I was LIVID. I understand that it’s my job as a parent to check what I give to my baby (I just trusted that I didn’t have to…)..but how on Earth could Walmart NOT check the expiration date on their food before they put it on the shelf? This stuff clearly hadn’t been on the shelf for 6 months. Someone put this baby food on the shelf MONTHS expired. Not okay. I tried to feed my baby ROTTEN baby food. Mother of the year.
I called Walmart and spoke with a manager who was INCREDIBLY apologetic and asked that I come down to the store immediately and ask to speak with him so he could rectify the situation. I did, and they gave me a $10 gift card and a refund for my trouble while assuring me that they would have employees checking the baby food before it was put out on the floor from now on. He assumed that the baby food was expired because someone had bought it and returned it and it was put back on the shelf. I was polite and appreciated Walmarts response.
Flash Forward Two Months
Today I ran into Walmart to grab some more baby food. I mean, Walmart assured me that they would train employees to check the baby food before putting it out on the floor and then they would also check their stock to make sure no expired baby food was back there. I, like a dummy, trusted them. What is wrong with me? That transcends common sense. Anyway, I start to toss some baby food (again, Gerber Organic) into my cart and happen to stop to check the expiration date. NOVEMBER 2012.
Are you freaaaakiinnngg serious Walmart?! Seriously?! After making a HUGE debacle out of the first situation, calling every member of management to the front of the store and INSISTING I come in at 8:00 at night so that you can, “Make it right,” you let it happen again? And this was the first time I’ve bought Gerber Organic food since the first expired baby food so who knows how much expired baby food was purchased in the meantime.
SO. I grab the nearest manager (Excuse me, Assistant Manager Carleton) and tell him that a bunch of the baby food is expired and I hand him the one I had in my cart. He takes it and says, “Thanks.” and starts to walk away. Uhhh, HOLD UP DUDE. “You need to take ALL of this expired food off of the shelf…I don’t want another family to accidentally buy it.” (THERE WERE 3 CASES OF EXPIRED GERBER ORGANIC BABY FOOD ON THE SHELF). He was INCREDIBLY annoyed with me and said, “Uh, okay….” while looking at me like I had 4 eyeballs. He took the cases and walked away. No, “I’m sorry..” “It won’t happen again (which I’m sure would be another lie)”... NOTHING. This assistant manager was ANNOYED that I asked him to remove 3 month expired baby food from the shelf at Walmart. He was ON BREAK!! (I know this because an associate kept saying, “I’ll do it, I’m still on the clock, let me do it for you” and the assistant manager kept saying, “No, I got it.” very annoyed-like.
So, I go to the front and speak with the customer service manager, who calls another manager and they both assure me that the food will be removed from the shelf. This isn’t good enough! Walmart needs to educate their employees on how to read dates on boxes. Common sense: If the date has PASSED, take it off the shelf! Walmart, if you can’t manage the amount of product you carry in your store, then cut down on the amount of product!
Take Aways: I will be making every effort not to shop at Walmart anymore for anything. If I have to shop bi-weekly and travel all the way to Winston’s Target store or Trader Joes then I will do that. There is no excuse for selling expired food in general, but expired ORGANIC baby food would be ROTTEN 3 months after the expiration date. Walmart put ROTTEN baby food on the shelves just to make an extra buck (it’s much pricier than regular baby food).
Check the dates on any food you buy from a big box store. It’s clear that Walmart carries more product than it is capable of handling, so the responsibility to make sure your kids consume safe products falls ENTIRELY on you as a consumer. Check those dates!