A lunchtime craving resulted in mouldy disgust for Papamoa resident Thomas Weingarten last week.
The 36-year-old says he discovered mould growing on blocks of reduced-price Mild cheese in the chilled section at Countdown Papamoa and says this is “a step too far”.
Thomas Weingarten discovered blocks of mouldy cheese at Countdown Papamoa last week.
“My wife and I have been living in Papamoa for five years and ever since we came here there has been a problem.”
He says it is not only disgusting but also a serious health risk to the public with the reduced cheese sitting right next to the edible-mould cheese.
A self-proclaimed cheese lover, Thomas says he took two steps back when he saw the mould on the cheese and immediately took some photos before ringing Tauranga City Council to discuss his situation.
He has since been informed by the council the issue has been directed to Toi Te Ora Public Health.
Toi Te Ora food act officer Grant King says the complaint was received last Friday and is currently under investigation.
Thomas believes the Countdown and the previous Pak N’ Save store have been selling expired goods including tinned food, fresh produce, bottled drinks and fresh fruit juice for some time.
“Even the Keri fresh fruit juice, some of it is more than half a year past its used by date. When the two juices are next to each other, the off one looks like liquid rust.”
Thomas admits he does not want to be the snitch, but the matter must be resolved.
He is not interested in taking up the issue with Countdown Papamoa as he believes the company will try to resolve it by way of a $5 food voucher.
“I think it’s a serious concern and a serious issue. They should really stop selling food that’s not sellable.
“It’s supposed to be chucked in a bin.”
Countdown Supermarkets general manager Richard Manaton says because the compliant was not made to the store, so enquiries will have to be made.
“What normally happens is if the customer laid a complaint we would look to retrieve the product and if deemed unacceptable we would replace and refund the product.”
Richard admits they do not know if it is an isolated issue or part of a production batch, but says the best course of action is for the customer to send details of the product including the brand name and best before date so the issue can be resolved.
A Tauranga cheese shop manager says it is hard to distinguish the shelf life of supermarket cheeses because of the large amount of colourings, flavourings and preservatives.
He says it is not a natural cheese and the date on the wrapper is not a clear indication of how long it will last.